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President criticizes CB officials for failing to support economic revival


16 June 2020 06:43 pm - 48     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today criticized Central Bank officials for failing to extend its support to the government’s proposals for economic revival, unlike the Central Banks of other countries.

During a meeting with the officials led by the Governor of the Central Bank held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, the President said Central Banks in leading countries such as the United States, Japan and Australia as well as in small countries have put in place required mechanisms to revive economies in their respective countries.

“Sadly, the Central Bank of ours has not put forward a single proposal to rebuild the economy. The Government owes a large sum of money to various institutes for the services and products they supplied during the past couple of years. The Central Bank had ignored the proposal made by the President to provide Rs. 150 billion to banks by accepting the outstanding due as collateral. The Government will have to take the blame for the economic slowdown due to this serious negligence of duty on the part of the Central Bank,” he said.

He also said the officials who worked at the Central Bank during the scandalous bond scam still hold their positions and that these officials have failed to extend cooperation to rebuild the country.

"We cannot let the health crisis lead to an economic crisis. Not only have Central Banks in big countries but also in small countries have taken many crucial steps. The Federal Reserve in the US has formulated a USD 600 billion programme. Today, the Central Banks in Australia and Japan too have joined. Similarly, Central Banks in small neighbouring countries of ours have commenced planned programmes," he said.

Look at this headline. “The AFED (Arab Forum for Environment and Development) commits to use a full range of tools to help the economy through unprecedented time”. What is the tool we have used? We have used nothing. Our Central Bank has not done anything towards this. Monetary and Fiscal Policy has been formulated by the Central Bank. That should be done in accordance with the economic policy of the President of the country.

You have several tools that can be used. Those tools have to be utilized. However, our Central Bank does not use a single tool. It just stays idle. We asked to release Rs. 150 billion to banks. This is not a fault of the business. The Government owes a huge sum of money to companies due to mismanagement in the past. Let this money be kept as a security for banks to release loans to them. Then they can run the economy. This is a money circulation process. This is a very simple tactic and this is a basic economic principle. But, what are you doing? The Governments have to take the blame for your conduct. You do not monitor. Look at the status of finance companies.

It is your responsibility to regularize and monitor these companies. However, you have failed in your task. Leasing companies too evade their responsibilities. The ETI is not in a position to repay the people. The Finance has been closed down without informing. How are we going to pay for that? There is no management there. All at the Central Bank are economic specialists drawing very high salaries. You have a responsibility. I have presented you a mechanism. If you are unable to follow it, present me your version of the mechanism by tomorrow morning.

Look at what governments of other countries have implemented to save their small scale and medium scale businesses. Do we see the same efforts over here? It looks as if you are here to hinder the government effort and are trying to impede my duties. I do not have to assume this tone if you stood by your duties. It has been 8 months since my appointment to the office, and I have been requesting you to revive this collapsed economy ever since.

I do not want to talk about mistakes of the previous government.  As all of you know, you were there when the Central Bank bonds scam was executed. If you supported them to commit this crime, there is no reason for all of you to not to join hands with me to deliver justice.  Public must be made aware of the issue of how we move forward with this kind of officials. The people of this country have bestowed a great power on me to build this country.  I request all of you to allow me to build this country.

The Coronavirus has spread throughout the world. Now it has become a global economic crisis. Due to the firm commitment of our works in the health sector, Army, Intelligence and the Police we were able to return to normalcy before many other countries in the world. The restructuring of the country’s economy before it further collapses lies in your hands. Lend your support to me to achieve success in this enedvour.  Either accept my suggestions in this regard or reveal your strategies. 

In this context, a place like the Central Bank where the top economic experts are rendering their service, isn’t it your responsibility to present a proposal to conquer this situation. What have you submitted in this regard. What is the guidance you have given me?  There is nothing and you have not come forward to support me.

If you are not on the same page with my suggestions please give me your strategies to revive our economy by tomorrow morning. Give me your suggestions on how to strengthen the economy, how to assist banks under these dire circumstances, how to categorically assist small scale and medium scale businesses. If what I say is wrong, do not hesitate to let me know. (Lahiru Pothmulla)


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  Comments - 48

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  • Independent Tuesday, 16 June 2020 07:54 PM

    CB is the reason for economic fail? Or is it the billions of loans that Rajapakshas obtained and the failure to make profits? Now we need to pay the loans with interest. Lot of villagers saw it as development when they built ports, roads and airports. Shame.

    Travis fox Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:01 PM

    Sir i salute you for waking up the sleeping officials. Sir these people are used to just passing time not understanding how to be proactive.This should be done to all institutions and wake them all up. Next should be all government officers in diplomatic Relations like embassies all over.Most of them are highly paid and non proactive.

    Paul Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:36 PM

    You don't know why the reason they have failed because all them are political appoinments. Whole country know it

    Silva Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:50 PM

    Blame Game for Election! You appointed him and he works for you first then for the country.

    Dee Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:51 PM

    The same way the people responsible for printing billions should also be held responsible, same language!

    CITIZEN Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:54 PM


    nick Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:57 PM

    Hats off to Gota.A lot of here are Mangala's henchmen.The whole country supports you Sir.

    Sambo Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:57 PM

    Your excellency Mr. President. Just can't understand why every one is calling on you to look into every thing in this country. The tax payers spend so much money on maintaining a 225 member parliament and so many other officials and politicians. What are they doing. They do not take any responsibility and ignore situations they see and come up with excuses that are irrelevant. It's time they are all kicked out and a responsible personal be appointed.

    Pradeep Tuesday, 16 June 2020 09:15 PM

    This is like blaming himself, trying to make us fool, looks like he has forgotten government is theirs, trying to fool us indicating fault is with the CB not because of wrong policies by the government

    Sira Tuesday, 16 June 2020 09:35 PM

    Bring people from medamulana village and ask them to work at Central Bank.

    RSR Tuesday, 16 June 2020 09:35 PM

    In civilized societies these discussions are held behind closed doors and not in front of cameras!

    Sarah Tuesday, 16 June 2020 09:37 PM

    He is blaming the central banks...when really him and all the Rajapaksas are pocketing all the money. This money should be used to help the economy and the people...

    SM D Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:21 AM

    Too late.. decades of theft and corruption has drained the country. The worst was during the MR regime. The Central Bank of SL has no tools. Mostly empty pockets. They cannot bluff their way out of this like politicians when dealing with international payments. You can hold a gun to their head and ask them to print money.. but soon we will need trillion rupee notes like Zimbabwe.

    Shown Tuesday, 16 June 2020 10:44 PM

    No smoke without fire' CB officials who manage SFS on behalf of CB received millions of rupees as bribe from its owners? Up to government

    Anura jayantha Tuesday, 16 June 2020 11:34 PM

    This country needs a performance based system to promote or retain government servants. Please HE Rajapaksha you are the one who has the vision and the courage to implement this. Wish you success!

    godaya Wednesday, 17 June 2020 01:00 AM

    This is the sorry state of our country. Almost all of the officials don't perform their duties nor work hard to revive our country. Just get paid by the tax payer. Only boast or act big in front of the society with their fancy designations. Go to central bank to get something done and you'll spend an entire day there. Most of the seats are empty. These people are puppets of people who commit financial crimes. Please gather noble educated people and get rid of these naysayers.

    Titus Wednesday, 17 June 2020 01:17 AM

    Where is Finance Minister hiding?

    Nelum Wednesday, 17 June 2020 02:21 AM

    He himself appointed the 80 year old as the central bank governor.

    Andrew Silva Wednesday, 17 June 2020 04:27 AM

    Is this Guy thinking from his up side or bottom side.

    KOKUVILAN Wednesday, 17 June 2020 04:46 AM


    DM Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:15 AM

    Any individual having a tiniest sense and brains should 100% agree and support Presidents view point and actions. But looking at some comments here actually feel us sorry about our other land.

    SM Deraniyagala Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:17 AM

    The CB of SL cannot be compared with the CB of these major developed economies which have built up reserves in gold and foreign exchange over decades or happen to have their own currencies which are major hard currencies or have the credibility to raise money at low interest. These countries have had little corruption, fraud and waste in their governments. The Central Bank of SL has very little in its armoury. The reserves that should exist are not there.. all looted over decades by your family and other politicians. In addition SL is prisoner to incredible amounts of debt given with commissions to your family.

    Sinna Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:27 AM

    Central bank no way closer to common man but tightly connected to the rich owners ,if someone suggests that ,they don't have intention or novel ideas and just work for bribes,it can't throw away its good to observe by top and throw them at tha inception

    Melville Olegasageram Wednesday, 17 June 2020 05:55 AM

    Melville. The President is partially right . The country lost a good, honest Governor of the C.B recently because he felt that he could not function effectively under the present regime, perhaps with the exception of the present President ,who has the right motives in trying to make a bad situation better , but he lacks the right calibre of people and the professional tools to carry out an extensive and coordinated programme of national reconstruction . He needs to get his act together speedily , instead of blaming selected civil servants .

    Philip de silva Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:05 AM

    Guys isn’t CB under finance ministry? Who is the minister of finance? It’s MR :)

    Chandragupta Siriwardane Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:22 AM

    Leave our banks alone; please don't meddle.

    Chris Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:26 AM

    Bravo, this is the president I voted for, a man who works. Hats off to you and for a better future

    Concern Citizen Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:31 AM

    Well said Sir, it's not only Central Bank officials, no govt officials from any ministry comes up with any new development, improvement strategies, they only perform their day to operations tasks only.

    Alpha Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:35 AM

    The Banks still work to the same rules as before. They insist on collateral ignoring the business potential. Mortgages are also sometimes difficult because the local government officials seek bribes to issue certificates. It is the SMEs that are mostly affected by these factors as they have very little muscle to push the Banks or the local authorities. HE the President should set up a high powered body for the SMEs to take there problems to, so that the Banks and the Government authorities are compelled to take the economy forward. At present, the SMEs have no one to go to.

    Max Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:51 AM

    Great initiative

    DillonDP Wednesday, 17 June 2020 06:59 AM

    If you supported them to commit this crime, there is no reason for all of you to not to join hands with me to deliver justice. If the president knows the theifs and asking justice from them I think we made a mistake

    Francis Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:02 AM

    Sack the shameless ineffective 80 odd year old governor

    Raz Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:09 AM

    Ridiculous!! Gota you very well know that the people of this coocoo land are fools !! Your just playing to the well set Ada derana audience !! You won’t people to think your a great president !! What do you know of economics?? The CB is in such a plight is because of the hefty loans taken by the governments followed !! They should have enough coppers in the kitty to bail em out !! They are left with nothing after repaying the loans your brother took and followed by the previous government and now your tamashas !! Why don’t you ask your brother to open his arms and bring what he looted which might b of helpful now ! Wouldn’t it ?? Stop your election gimmicks pls !!

    Paul Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:10 AM

    Politicians should away from any form of administrative activities. Rulers have to take only decisions. In our country it seems to have upside down.

    Mahesh Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:33 AM

    Clearly shows signs of an armature leader and zero politician. In a civilised world these discussions take place behind closed doors. He is using the media and public servants to show that he is a clean man. Also Mr. President please note that you are not in the military, but running a country so please treat people with repect to get respect.

    Roma Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:48 AM

    A media stunt to fool the public for his incapability as a leader as an administrator and as a politician.

    Somesh Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:53 AM

    Armature to the core. Zero leadership skills, zero political skills, zero administration skills

    Neela Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:55 AM

    If you are such a tough guy where you one of the 1st people to leave the country in 2015 the moment your government lost? You fooled us then but we won't get caught now

    Nilmini Wednesday, 17 June 2020 07:59 AM

    Institutions targeted so far by HE Hilter: RMV, Hospitals, BOC, CB. By shouting at every segment of society in 365 days he would have ended up shouting at the entire population. Wonder who will vote for Namal baby in 5 years time.

    slape Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:05 AM

    Central Bank officials not look after local economy, but pleasing foreign donor agencies as they have plans to employed there after retirement. How many times local industrialist asked to increase customs duty to grow local industries and step to export market. CBSL officials do not want to support local industries but work to their future masters. Atleast now increase custom duty of products that are manufactured in Sri Lanka. So we can increase local production and develop this country

    Senior Citizen Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:06 AM

    Sir, please do increase the Fixed Deposit rates as Senior Citizens depend on the interest on a monthly basis. High cost of Rents, Medicine and Food are unbearable for Senior Citizens with the present Rates of Interest. Do something please.

    jayt Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:06 AM

    He has no clues what he is talking about, He just read a statement given by spies group stationed in Colombo. The same spy group who bright him into power by splitting votes from first political party in Sri lanka.

    Fernando Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:19 AM

    Mr. President,Sir better get rid of the sleepy idiots of Central bank before its late new appointments its urgent

    Lala Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:22 AM

    You need to ask the same question from the Finance minister. It is not the CB. You guys are missing the point. Don't generalize !. Shame on you !

    EngD Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:24 AM

    Why sudden burst. CB and all state banks are under which Minister and why no regular monitoring even on weekly basis and taking corrective action promptly whenever necessary. Is the economy run only by the President alone or is this government inefficient. People to think and act.

    Waruna liyanawaduge Wednesday, 17 June 2020 08:38 AM

    Sir you had better to ask economic development ideas from outside CB economist. There are many young, knowledgeable, practical ideas from them. Like epidamic situation how many inventors come out there ideas.

    Dravid Bakmeena Wednesday, 17 June 2020 11:22 AM

    While its a good shelling to CB people by H.E. president, what he does not realise is his brother MR is the Minister of Finance under which the CB comes! Also governor Nivad Cabral is appointed by MR? So he needs to take it at this level of MR/Cabral before he shells the rest of executives who comes under the CB governor and Minister.

    Antany Peter Thursday, 18 June 2020 06:35 AM

    Sri Lanka has the same ideology right across the government and private sectors due to limited exposure to the world class performance. The country is facing the same issue whether we are talking about the CB, Sri Lankan Airlines or universities. The President needs to hire executive directors and vice chancellors who have international exposure. This is why I have been strongly suggesting to bring back the knowledge and skills from the foreign countries. Sri Lanka must deal with the brain drain, it should offer free dual citizenship and tax free vehicles for the diaspora professionals who are willing to work in Sri Lankan for minimum 2 years.

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