Home / TOP STORY/ President brings CB under Finance Ministry purview

President brings CB under Finance Ministry purview

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 29 March 2018 00:41


By Skandha Gunasekara

In a major and contentious move, the President Maithripala Sirisena, issuing an Extraordinary Gazette notification last evening, removed the Central Bank from the purview of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairsand returned it to the Ministry of Finance. The Security and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka too was transferred to the Ministry of Finance.

According to the Gazette, the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Act No. 35 of 2002, Exchange Control Act No. 24 of 1953, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Act No. 36 of 1987, National Youth Service Council Act No. 69 of 1979, Youth Corps Act No. 21 of 2002, Children and Young Persons Ordinance No. 48 of 1939, National Insurance Trust Fund Act No. 28 of 2006 have also been omitted from the purview of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, held by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. However, President added Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation under the PM’s ministry from Public Enterprises Development Ministry as well as Department of Food Commissioner.

The removal of the Central Bank was brewing for awhile after criticism was levelled following the Central Bank bond scam and the subsequent information revealed through the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe irregularities in bond transactions.

The appointment of former Central Bank Governor and that the bond scam would not have occurred had it been under the Finance Ministry were among the allegations made by various factions.

In 2015, after the election of President Sirisena, the Central Bank was put under the Ministry of National Policies.

Political analysts were busy last night trying to assess the reasons for Sirisena’s move exactly one week before the contentious and much-publicised No-Confidence motion against the Prime Minister. They claimed that the move was aimed at further undermining the Premier as well as the coalition partner, the UNP, though the Ministry of Finance is held by reformist and private sector-friendly Mangala Samaraweera. 

Some claimed it was a compromise move in a bid to appease the ranks of SLFPers within the Cabinet and the coalition Government as well as the larger Opposition, especially the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. However others viewed the move as yet another visible clash between the President and the Prime Minister. 

It was speculated that there were high-level talks on Tuesday night to avert the changes and some pro-Government and anti-Rajapaksa forces were busy trying to make both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe meet halfway to ensure political stability until the 2019 presidential polls. 

Sans political connotations, private sector leaders welcomed the return of the Central Bank and the SEC to the Finance Ministry as it was the case for a very long time.

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Implementing SC Orders

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The Supreme Court on 18 April has ordered six Ministries, their Secretaries and three Government authorities to take immediate several effective measures to be enforced in the design and construction of all parts of new buildings and services the pub

Need for an education revolution: Future of our kids and the nation is at risk – Part I

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

It is said that a country is only good as her people. A country belongs to her people. In a democratic country, people elect the leaders to manage the country on their behalf. Hence, to be hailed as a progressive country, it is paramount for a countr

Universalism versus tribalism

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The most venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero Mahanayake of the Asgiriya chapter has announced that his recent remarks, have been misconstrued and distorted. The authenticity of recorded information in cyber space is an inconvenient truth of t

A sermon on stoning

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

It is generally assumed we have passed the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age, and the Space Age.After a breath-taking dive in to the Digital Age, we are well on our way to the Age of Automation and Artificial Intelligence. N

Columnists More