AG explains how he calculated losses caused by alleged bond scams


Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe arriving at the Presidential Commission investigating Treasury Bond scandal yesterday.

Pic by Nimal Dayaratne
By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe yesterday testifying before the Presidential Commission of inquiry probing the alleged bond scam said that the report he submitted to the COPE on losses incurred by the government on the questionable treasury bond issues had never been declared as a false one by the COPE. Nor had it ever said the basis on which the conclusions were arrived at were questionable.

Cross examined by former Central Bank Chairman Arjuna Mahendran’s Counsel Chanaka Perera, Wijesinghe said that by virtue of his office as the Auditor General he decided the basis on which the losses incurred on the bond issues were calculated.

He told the Commission that assisting the COPE was a duty of the Auditor General and having discussed the issue at hand with COPE members and calculated the losses incurred by Central Bank in exercising the authority vested on the Auditor General.

Wijesinghe said the main basis of arriving at a conclusion was doing away with the direct placements by the Central Bank and opting for bond auctions.

He told the Commission that he examined the bond issues of 27 February 2015 and March 2016 and he calculated the losses incurred by taking into consideration the value of the bonds first issued by the Central Bank under direct placement and value of bonds after it went into auctions

He said, by doing away with the direct placements and opting for the auctions had caused losses to the government and though the mixed policy which was implemented with direct placements had some shortcomings it was accepted as the best system thus far.

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