Ravi rubbishes media report on govt's financial policies | Daily News

Ravi rubbishes media report on govt's financial policies


An hour or two before leaving for Germany on an official visit yesterday, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake hurried into holding a press conference at the Finance Ministry over what he described as rather anti-national statements to have been made against the government by a weekend English newspaper.

Karunanayake said lashing out at the newspaper that it has published disingenuous and seriously damaging statements about government financial policies and practices over the past three weeks.

"One among them is an article titled, "BT exposure sees one team heading for study at Harvard University" and the latest came out of print just today (yesterday) under the title- Disclose source, if you receive more than Rs 200 000," he said.

The minister also asked if persons representing the newspaper were present at the press briefing and finding none, he said," they write all these material, but they do not care inasmuch to be present to take responsibility."

"The government is going through a period in which it is making inroads in development building trust and confidence in our international partners, "he said and added, "the cabals of a former Central Bank Governor may be trying to sabotage our economic progress from inside the bank, and that is what is needed to be addressed , if there was any, because we have not done or will do any such deeds as this newspaper had alluded."

"We are trying to bring foreign deposits to the country without burrowing money and making the country going into further debts," he said. " We are going to Germany with plans to develop our economy with their support and what happens if they saw this sort of an article and asked us -hey you are wanting money and you are talking about disclosure of sources against just Rs 200 000."

"We are trying to move the country's economy forward without making the country having to pay any further debts, "he said.

"You discourage the inflow of foreign deposits to the country. Isn't this acting against the country's foreward march?" the minister asked.

"We are committed and bound to fulfill international regulatory requirements in banking, but these statements are far from being cohesive and have nothing to do with what we are do," he explained.

The Central Bank 's Finance Intelligence Unit's Director H Amaratunga said they had not issued any gazette notification requiring disclosure of source upon banks receiving more than Rs 200,000 as per the newspaper report.

"There was no mentioning whatsoever in this regard in terms of remittances made by foreign countries.

"It appears that the newspaper report was so misleading to the extent of discouraging the inflow foreign remittances to the country. Sri Lanka needs foreign exchange. Hence as the Central Bank, we think we must take legal action," said Amaratunga.

"We have issued relevant gazette notifications with regard to making our institutional and legal framework to be in line with international regulatory requirements to monitor whether our money inflows takes place in keeping with standard banking procedures such as know your client among other things," he said. 


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