Friday, October 3, 2008

Central Bank please wake-up

With recent disclosures about the bank being asleep while the unsuspecting depositor was losing money, is no surprise. Go to any floor of the mighty central bank at 9am and you will not find a lazier sleepy bunch of people if you wanted to. Then after their “Rs50 all you can eat buffet” lunch in the canteen, no one is competent enough to do any productive work as it is siesta time.

The hierarchy is aware of the problem, but as they have given up on getting productivity from the lifers who only get promoted on seniority there is little a progressive leader can do. This is called ossified and fossilized bureaucracy. No one takes the blame for a crisis and is the governor even has the gall to say it was they, who alerted and precipitated the crisis.

This is an example, like we have in the police force or the judiciary, where the laws and rules and regulations as well as powers are all in place, but no one wants to rock the boat, and instead hides under a cloak anonymity.

All government servants are the people’s representatives, and are supposed to look after the interests of the public, but no one is diligent in their jobs.

I agree that the Central Bank and its 3,000 overpaid staff have different job descriptions. No one has questioned whether it is necessary that they all occupy expensive offices in the heart of Colombo, or whether the job they do is really necessary. In the meantime the country is suffering due to incompetence and I have not heard one word uttered against this place.

A reform of the Central Bank on a meritocratic basis is sorely needed with an evaluation of what they do and the effectiveness and usefulness of some of their functions. I have forever maintained that even the statistics published of the foreign remittances are grossly understated. No one has been able to measure the shortfall in an objective way.

The malaise of a highly educated but totally impractical workforce is not only common to the Central Bank, but also to many government institutions, however I believe we should concentrate on cleaning this up as it has a detrimental effect to good governance and thereby default a drag on economic growth of the nation. I have a plan that will solve this problem, but we have to get rid of the dead weight in the Bank first.

No comments: