UK garbage

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

UK garbage

What happened to the container loads of garbage that were lying at the Colombo Port? Did the Medical Research Institute and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council submit their respective reports to the Government Analyst pertaining to the above consignment of garbage?

What was the outcome of the inquiry by the Director of Customs?  Was any punitive action taken by the Director of the Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management Unit of the Central Environment Authority? Hope to get a feedback from the above State institutions (after publication in the newspaper) as no news is not good news in the above case.

Mohamed Zahran

Colombo 14

Banks refuse to accept soiled local and foreign currency notes

I recently returned from a foreign trip after having represented my company on a promotional tour.

As is expected, I carried a substantial amount of foreign currency with me. In certain places, including foreign airports, hotels, shops and restaurants, I used them, often receiving the balance in small notes.

Upon my return, when I tried to deposit this money at my RFC account, the local bank found several small foreign currency notes which had smudges, tiny tears and ink markings which they refused to accept. Upon inquiry, I was told that the Governor of the Central Bank of the former government had wanted to have only clean currency notes in circulation and brought these restrictions on banks accepting soiled notes.

This is hilarious and may even provide a psychological insight into the workings of the minds of our hierarchy which is generally immersed in dirty money and behind-the-scenes fraud. To them, a struggling citizen cannot get a soiled note replaced at a bank but the top bureaucrats or politicians are allowed to make millions in dirty money.

In a foreign country, when you use a $ 50 note to purchase some coffee, you cannot be carefully examining the balance (currency notes) given while there are other customers waiting in line.

Even when this happens with Sri Lankan currency notes within the country, the banks refuse to accept them. As a result, there are thousands of citizens possessing rupee notes they cannot use.

So what happens here? The customer (obviously a Sri Lankan) loses a part of his hard-earned money. The money (value) he has with him cannot be used or replaced as the commercial banks refuse to accept soiled notes on the instructions of our Central Bank. The customer is not responsible for the tiny soiling of the currency. He has only received them in the process of a hurried transaction. Sometimes a certain amount of damage can be caused to currency even while the notes are in a small wallet in your pocket.

In India, every bank is obliged to replace soiled currency notes with undamaged notes and this bank obligation extends even to a non-customer. The Reserve Bank will replace the soiled notes collected by the commercial banks.

The Indian Reserve Bank cares for its people and does not want Indian citizens to lose part of their finances because it is in the form of soiled notes.

All reserve banks have arrangements with international clearing houses to accept soiled foreign currency notes, as long as they are legitimate and not forgeries.

It is time that our reserve (Central Bank) bank also got active on behalf of the blameless citizens who end up possessing soiled currency notes (foreign and local). They should come down from their ivory towers and realistically look at life on the street.

Jayantha Weeraman