Good governance activist and former Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chandra Jayaratne has requested the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka information pertaining to the treasury bond issues carried out by the Central Bank this year.
In a letter to the Monetary Board Secretary, which is copied to Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Jayaratne demanded bond issue information under the right to information provisions in the Constitution as well as the pending right to information legislation, which was tabled in parliament.
However, Central Bank Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri during a recent press conference said the Monetary Law Act bars releasing individual information pertaining to bond issues.
Following is the full letter dated April 19, 2016.
Monetary Board of Sri Lanka
Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Exercise of Right to Information in Terms of the Constitution of Sri Lanka and Pending Legislation on Right to Information
In recognition of the provisions of Article 14 A of Chapter III (Fundamental Rights) of the Constitution of the Sri Lanka, dealing with the right of access to information and also in recognition of the Right to Information Bill tabled in parliament of Sri Lanka, in which the preamble reads as “WHEREAS the Constitution guarantees the right of access to information in Article 14A thereof and there exists a need to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public authorities by giving effect to the right of access to information and thereby promote a society in which the people of Sri Lanka would be able to more fully participate in public life through combating corruption and promoting accountability and good governance”, I hereby serve due notice on you, that I wish to exercise my fundamental right to receive the information hereinafter set out in this letter from the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, being the body responsible for making all policy decisions related to the management, operation and administration of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, in terms of the Monetary Law Act No 58 of 1949 as amended.
Kindly submit to me in English, within 14 days from the receipt of this letter, the following information in respect of government treasury bond issues:
1. Being treasury bond issues of maturity periods above four years, made on or after January 1, 2016 and up to date (i.e. Including details of the treasury bond offers of April 18, 2016) and in respect of each such bond offer/issues:
a. Settlement date
b. Issue date of series
c. Maturity date of series
d. Coupon rate
e. Loan title
f. Maturity period
h. Series no
i. Auction no
j. Accrued interest rate
2. In respect of each of the issues detailed in 1 above, the under noted details of all bids received:
a. Sequence no
c. Amount tendered
d. Bid price
e. Amount payable
f. Yield to maturity
g. Yield net of tax
h. Cumulative amount tendered
i. Cumulative amount payable
j. Weighted average price
k. Weighted average yield to maturity
Indicating accepted bids in full and or part and rejected bids and
m. Names of the chairman and members of the tender committee and members of the management of the Central Bank who participated directly or indirectly in the decision-making process regards the bids to accepted and rejected and quantity total value up to which bids are to be accepted.
3. In respect of each of the issues detailed in 1 above, where the tender committee rejected all bids received, reasons for rejection of all bids received in a market-based auction system.
Kindly submit to me in English, within 30 days from the receipt of this letter, the following additional information in respect of government treasury bond issues:
4. In respect of each of the issues listed in 1 above, where following such issue, the successful dealers to whom corresponding bonds were issued and have since made secondary market transfers of such bonds, transferring the said bond to any of the under noted state institutions:
a. Employees’ Provident Fund
b. Employees’ Trust Fund
c. National Savings Bank
d. State Mortgage & Investment Bank
e. Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd
f. Bank of Ceylon
g. People’s Bank
Details thereof indicating
The relevant date of transfer
Face value of bonds transferred
Your earliest response to the above request for information will be greatly appreciated.
CC. The Governor Central Bank and members of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka