Red light to Finance Companies | Daily News


Red light to Finance Companies

All depositors of the failed The Finance Company (TFC) and Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) will be eternally grateful to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for offering them solace by taking measures to repay their lost deposits swiftly. The President has asked the Central Bank to offer relief to the depositors of the two Finance Companies after seeking legal advice within 24 hours.

Although depositors who had placed less than Rs.600,000 are guaranteed repayment by the Central Bank, the President wants all depositors to have their money returned even if it means re-possessing the assets of the two companies.

The President is also due to appoint a Committee which will include representatives of the Presidential Secretariat, the Central Bank, Treasury and depositors to monitor the steps taken with regard to the two companies. A Commission has also been appointed to investigate the transactions of the two entities.

However this should have been an elementary task of the Central Bank before the companies collapsed – a fact which was to engage the attention of the President when he met the CB top brass once again within two weeks on Monday.

On the first occasion the top officials of the Central Bank were to come in for heavy flak from the President for their failure in taking remedial measures to resuscitate the economy. The results were prompt and telling with the CB going into overdrive the same night setting in motion measures in terms of the President’s instructions to offer concessionary loans to Small and Medium Scale Businesses together with other steps.

On this occasion too the President faulted CB officials for failing in their task to do a proper job in closely monitoring the two collapsed Finance Companies. He issued instructions pronto to start bringing under the microscope all Finance companies. The President’s ire is justifiable given the large number of Finance Companies which had collapsed over the years while they were expected to be monitored by the Central Bank.

It is in this light that the allegation made by a Government Minister that there was collusion between certain officials of the Central Bank with Finance Companies should be looked into. Any allegation of impropriety arising from the top levels of the CB is bound to affect the confidence of investors and depositors alike which would even result in the collapse of the banking system with dire consequences to the economy.

Moreover, such allegations cannot be entirely unfounded when one considers the alleged involvement of some of the top brass of the Central Bank in the infamous Bond scandal. The President hinted at such a possibility in his first meeting with the CB hierarchy.

That the President will closely pursue with follow up action in the State apparatus to ensure his instructions are being followed to the letter is amply borne out by his re-summoning of the Central Bank top brass just two weeks after telling off to them on their lapses and the warning given to pull up their socks.

This no doubt is going to be the tone of how his administration will be run in the future where there will be no room for shirkers and time servers and no excuses and difficulties will be accepted.

They would be made to answer for their lapses and shortcomings. This style of Governance, no doubt, is what the public expects from a leader who could get things done.

A salute to Murali

Cricketing icon Mutthaiah Muralitharan has once again brought honour and glory to his Motherland in being crowned the most Valuable Test Player of the 21st century, an achievement which every Sri Lankan could be justly proud of.

The recognition bestowed on Murali by Cricket’s Bible, Wisden , is all the more monumental if one were to consider the galaxy of stars and giants of the game that strode the world’s cricket fields like colossuses and who are still household names and reads like a who’s who in the pantheon of Test cricket during the new century. To come up on top of the pile of all of these greats certainly is a signal achievement and honour brought on the nation by this humble youth from the Hill Country.

The feat is all the more remarkable in that for the greater part if his career he was dogged by adversity and played under a dark pall but he arose from the depths of despair to claim the highest tally of 800 wickets bagged by a test bowler in Test cricket history.

The nation as a whole should give this son of the soil a fitting reception in recognition of his feat, ideally with the Government issuing a special stamp to felicitate Murali who continues to keep Sri Lanka on the world cricketing map even one decade after his retirement from the game.

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