Commission hands over Bond report to President | Sunday Observer

Commission hands over Bond report to President

The report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds was handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena by the Chairman of the Commission, Supreme Court Judge K.T. Chithrasiri at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The Presidential Commission was appointed on January 27, 2017 to investigate Treasury Bond issuance from February 1, 2015 up to March 31, 2016.

The Commission comprised Supreme Court Judges K.T. Chithrasiri and P.S. Jayawardena and retired Deputy Auditor General V. Kandasamy.

Over 70 people gave evidence before the Commission, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, Ministers Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, several senior officials of the Central Bank, owner of Perpetual Treasuries Limited, Arjun Aloysius, high ranking officials of Perpetual Treasuries Limited, head of the Employees Provident Fund and heads of several private banks as well.

The mandate of the Commission was extended four times. The President appointing the Presidential Commission to investigate the alleged Bond issue, stated that severe punishment would be meted out to those involved in the scam.

Prior to the Presidential Commission, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) also finalised a report on the controversial bond issue and was presented to Parliament by its Chairman Sunil Handunneththi on October 28, 2016.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing Parliament on that day, said that action should be taken on the COPE report on the instructions of the Attorney General after the report is debated in Parliament.

The Premier said it was a success for good governance under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena for such a report to be presented in Parliament.

The COPE that investigated the Central bank bond issue made 15 recommendations, though there was dissent with regard to its content. Of the 26 members, 16 endorsed the report without footnotes while nine members endorsed it with footnotes.

The COPE stressed the importance of having a viable mechanism in the Central Bank and other institutions to prevent a repetition of similar incidents in the future.