BY Kavindya Chris Thomas
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds (PCIIIITB) learned that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met the Primary Dealers at the Treasury Bond auction that took place on 27 February 2015, which is probably the first time such a meeting has taken place.
The former Additional Superintendent of the Central Bank’s Public Debt Department U. L. Muthugala being cross examined yesterday (9) revealed that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had met with the Primary Dealers of the controversial Treasury Bond auction that is under a cloud of allegations of foul play. According to Muthugala, the meeting, described as ‘unusual’, had taken place two to three weeks after the auction.
Representatives of the Attorney General’s Department asked the former Additional Superintendent whether such a meeting between the Finance Minister and the Primary Dealers was unusual, to which she responded positively that “This is the first time it has happened, as far as I know.”
She told the Commission that the Finance Minister had inquired and discussed about several matters regarding the local market with the Primary Dealers as well as with officials of the Central Bank and the Public Debt Department, who were present at the meeting.
She noted that the minutes of the meeting, which were taken down by the officers of the Front Office must be available for analysis.
The main player in the February 2015 Treasury Bond issuance, then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, was scheduled to appear before the Commission today.
However, today’s session was postponed to next Monday (13) at which he is expected to present himself.