FR petition filed seeking COPE report made public

FR petition filed seeking COPE report made public

July 28, 2015   05:44 pm

A petition was filed with the Supreme Court today seeking an order for the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sub-committee report on the Central Bank bond issue to be made public.

The Fundamental Rights (FR) petition, submitted by Professor Nalin de Silva, named Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Cabinet members and COPE members as respondents. 

In his petition, Prof. de Silva states that the people of the country have a right to know the finding of the COPE sub-committee appointed to look into the bond issue and compile a report following concerns raised in Parliament by the opposition over controversial deals made by Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Arjun Aloysius, the son-in-law of CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran. 

He therefore requests that the Supreme Court orders the government to make the said report public. 

Last week, the Colombo District Court dissolved the enjoining order granted earlier preventing the publication of the COPE sub-committee report on the bond issue. 

At the Feb. 27 auction, the government had raised more than 10 billion rupees ($75.2 million) from the sale of a 30-year treasury bonds at a yield of 11.73 percent, after initially offering just 1 billion rupees with an indicative price of 9.5 percent.

The CB had announced it was accepting bids worth Rs. 10 billion at 9.50-12.50 per cent whereas clients and most primary dealers had made bids between 9.50 and 10.50 per cent, not in the 11-12 per cent range. Only a few bids, including those by Perpetual Treasuries were made in the 12 per cent range.

A panel of legal experts probing auction had cleared the central bank chief of any direct role in the decision to increase the size of the sale by 10 times, while calling for tighter supervision of the government’s borrowing office.

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