Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

No shortfall in Govt. borrowings: Dep. Treasury Sec.

Witness says not told about the urgent need for Rs.75 bn Says no finance minister had directly informed CBSL about fund requiremen­ts


Deputy Treasury Secretary Sajith Attygalle yesterday told the Commission of Inquiry (COI) that there was no shortfall in Government borrowings in January and February, 2015.

Testifying through an affidavit comprising the Treasury’s comprehens­ive cash flow statements he said there was no huge deficit between the actual debt requiremen­t and the total borrowings during these two months.

Mr.attygalle has been handling the Treasury management,fiscal policy and Treasury Operationd Department since 2012.

According to the witness, the Treasury would usually communicat­e the fund requiremen­ts of the Government to the Central Bank’s Public Debt Department using cash flow statements of the Treasury and in case of an urgent fund requiremen­t by the Government, the Treasury would communicat­e with the CBSL in writing.

It was revealed earlier that there was a request from the Finance Ministry to the Central Bank in the middle of February 2015 regarding the urgency of raising additional funds amounting to Rs.75 billion.

However, Mr.attygalle said he was not informed by finance ministry secretary or any other government entity regarding such urgent additional fund requiremen­ts of the Government prior to the bond sales that took place on February 27, 2015.

When SC Justice Prasanna Jayawarden­a asked whether there were instances, where a finance minister had communicat­ed directly to the CBSL regarding the government requiremen­t for additional funds, the witness said as far as he was aware no minister had previously communicat­ed directly to the CBSL.

SC Justice Jayawarden­e also asked the witness about the practice of the Treasury if the Government required funds urgently.

The witness said the Treasury could overdraw the accounts at the BOC and the People’s Bank if there was an urgent fund requiremen­t not exceeding Rs.10 billion.

“But an amount such Rs.75 billion could not be obtained solely from the BOC or People’s Bank, therefore the Treasury would communicat­e the requiremen­t to the CBSL in writing,” he said and confirmed that even though they were communicat­ed to the CBSL, the ultimate request would be in writing.

The witness’ evidence was led by Senior State Counsel Shaida Barrie. The Commission permitted Counsel Chanaka de Silva who appeared for the former Governor to cross-examine the witness today after analyzing the documents produced by the witness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka