Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Malik Samarawickrama, yesterday clarified his stance over alleged reports about his purported involvement in the 27 February 30-year Treasury Bond fiasco.
He told the Daily FT that during a subcommittee meeting on economic affairs, the Highways Ministry revealed that there were a large number of contractors who required longstanding and urgent payment for work undertaken by the previous regime. Some of these projects had Treasury guarantee as well.
Thereafter, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requested a separate meeting comprising the Ministers of Finance and Highways, ministry officials and the Central Bank to look into the funding issue.
At this meeting the funding requirement was estimated at around Rs. 15-16 billion.
“At this meeting we informed the Central Bank of the immediate funding requirement but we didn’t suggest or request the method of fundraising. The discretion and responsibility was left to the Central Bank, which is the borrower on behalf of the Government,” Samarawickrama added.
He was responding to aspersions cast through an analysis published in yesterday’s Daily FT by the former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Cabraal claimed that according to reports and statements made by various parties, a “sudden” fund requirement had surfaced just a day or two before the fateful bond issue at a Cabinet Subcommittee meeting, at which, as supposedly admitted by Governor Mahendran, the Chairman of the United National Party (UNP), Malik Samarawickrema, who is a very close confidant of Ranil Wickremesinghe, was present. It was at this meeting that the so-called “decision” to increase the bond issue the next day or the day after that from Rs. 1 billion to Rs. 10 billion was made.
- See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/442261/T-Bond-fiasco--Malik-Samarawickrama-has-his-say#sthash.ebjiKQzF.dpuf