MP Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament yesterday blamed the supervision unit of the Central Bank for allegedly failing to investigate a People’s Bank loan of Rs. 4 billion to a Minister.
MP Karunanayake charged that the supervision unit of the Central Bank should launch a query on its failure to probe a loan of Rs. 4 billion to a Minister and a loan of Rs. 10 billion to an individual by the name of Jehan Amaratunga. “The former Lankaputhra Bank Chairman Lasantha Gunawardena was sacked for approving a few loans worth Rs. 100,000 each, but one needs to find out as to how the Peoples Bank had lent Rs. 4 billion to a Minister and of Rs. 10 billion to Jehan Amaratunga,” Karunanayake said.
However, People’s Bank, in a statement, denied any malpractice or preferential treatment extended to then Director of the Bank Jehan Amaratunga. Further, the statement said that all necessary approvals were obtained, including the approval of Board of Directors of the Bank, as per regulations of the Central Bank for ‘special instances’ to grant the loan.
Further, MP Karunanayake claimed that some officials of the Ministry of Finance were misleading Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in attempts to cause a division between the President and Prime Minister.
“These officials in the Ministry of Finance are the ones who led to a negative economic output in 2001. They are henchmen of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga,” he said.
In addition, MP Karunanayake proposed that the country would benefit from a 9-10% reduction in the VAT.