Sumanthiran breathes fire against Govt., CBSL for economic injustice

Tuesday, 4 July 2023 01:14 –      – 58

  • Refers to private T. Bond holders as vultures and Govt. supporting their financiers
  • Warns members of Monetary Board have 21 days to decide whether they want to sell the soul (workers) of the country or make a few private rich individuals to profit

TNA MP M. Sumanthiran on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Government as well as the Central Bank and the Monetary Board over the Domestic Debt Optimisation (DDO).

Speaking during the debate Sumanthiran alleged that exclusion of primary dealers, domestic private Bond holders or money market players who are high net worth individuals are the friends of Wickremesinghe and funders of the Government and who get kick-backs and figured in the bond scam. He termed these investors who subscribed to Treasury Bond issuance when yields rose due to the domestic economic crisis from mid last year as “vultures” who are also benefiting by being excluded.

“You stole from EPF before,” he said, referring to EPF being subject to the Bond scam and “you are destroying EPF again.”

“Those are the ones who do bond scams for you. They are the ones who fund your election campaigns. That is why you’ve let them off the hook,” alleged TNA MP.

“We were told that treating private holders wasn’t enough but include them first in the name of fairness and economic justice,” said Sumanthiran who earlier on lambasted the Government for originally denying the need for DDO.

“In parentheses, it (resolution) says, which is also a stated precondition for the restructuring of debt owed to members, holders of Sri Lanka’s International sovereign bonds. So now we are being told that there is a precondition. With the International Sovereign Bond holders that there will be a domestic debt restructuring and therefore this must be done first. This must be done first priority for the implementation of DDO. So all this time you have lied to the country saying there won’t be domestic debt restructuring. At least an important responsible or ought to be responsible minister, the State Minister of Finance has said that, but that is not the case,” Sumanthiran charged.

He said that 2.5 million members of EPF which has a balance of Rs. 3.4 trillion stand to be the biggest losers as they are voiceless. The TNA MP shared with MPs the probable future loss of 47%  in terms of Net Present Value (NPV) on the basis of 9% return in the future under the proposed DDO versus 13% Weighted Average Yield in 2022.

Though DDO for superannuation funds is termed voluntary, Sumanthiran said that members of the Monetary Board has a moral duty to the people rather than deceiving the people. “There is nothing voluntary when the Monetary Board is the custodian of EPF. Don’t lie to the country,” the TNA MP said, adding that as custodians, Monetary Board members have 21 days to decide whether they want to sell the soul (workers) of the country or make a few private rich individuals to profit.

“We heard from one member of the Monetary Board this is an important thing. This is a very serious thing. All of us will be dragged and hanged for doing this. He has understood the enormity and I want to put them on notice that that is what will happen to them if they dare take this decision,” the TNA MP claimed.

He also said, “Members of the EPF and ETF are the voiceless working class of the country because even with regard to their own savings, they have no say they can’t make the decision. It’s absolutely false when you say that this is voluntary participation.”

Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe speaks at the Committee of Public Finance (COPF) oversight on domestic debt optimisation on Friday. Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena and Monetary Board members Sanjeewa Jayawardena and Nihal Fonseka are also present

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