By Chamodi Gunawardana
Ahead of the presentation of areport by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Controversial bond issue by the Central Bank, the Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday called for a Presidential Commission to investigate the issue.
Highlighting that former Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s son-in-law’s company, Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. gained a super normal profit of Rs. 5.2 b the JO appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a Commission with total powers to investigate the alleged bond scam that took place on January 2015.
Addressing media, JO MP Bandula Gunawardena claimed that Perpetual Treasuries gained profits thanks to the scam.
“The bond trader Perpetual Treasuries, linked to Mahendran’s son-in-law, has made an astonishing after-tax profit of Rs. 5.2 b in the year ending 31 March 2016 - the period corresponding to Mahendran’s reign at the Central Bank. That profit was even higher than profits that could be made by a commercial bank,” he said.
Demanding a Presidential Commission to investigate into the bond issue, Gunawardena said the appointed commission should have relevant powers to probe such scams which resulted in the loss of Rs. 159 b for the Government.
“An independent commission or any other regulatory body does not have the required powers to take immediate actions against these wrongdoings, therefore we need a Presidential Commission empowered to investigate this bond issue,” he stated.