Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Central Bank Annual Report 2011 – Presented to the President last week
I purchased a copy of the above at the Central Bank book store at the Center for Banking Studies which opposite the Presidents College Kotte on the Parliament Road near Rajagiriya on Wednesday 11th of April 2012. Only the English version is currently in print, the Sinhala and Tamil ones will take a few more weeks to arrive, as I suspect it was prepared in English and then translated later into Sinhala and Tamil. The above photo was take from the official Govt. news website which says the President is being presented with the report in all three languages. I suspect it is three copies in English but to fool the public the forever lying News.lk makes another lie about even a simple presentation of a report. Just imagine what bigger lies they are capable of if they need to lie about the inability of the Bank to have the report in all three languages at the same time!!!
So the copy presented to the President by the Governor of the Central Bank on April 9th was the English version 3 copies of the same book so the Governor thinks he can get three time the credit for it!! costing Rs400 and comprising in excess of 600pages, not bad for the price, which must be heavily subsidized but the back of the book says it was a product of Printcare a private company, which may have obtained the contract, at a far more favorable cost than a highly inefficient and high cost Govt. Printer which was probably incapable of handling the contract.
It is a hugely detailed, comprehensive document which was purchased as a reference book as I am constantly in need of statistics when it comes to referring to some figure on another in the course of my research and in also my blog articles.
I have to rely on its accuracy, though at times I have questioned the data due to the manner in which it was collected. I do have some reservations of the recent Census Data as the enumerators, whose job it is to extract that from the households, probably do not fully understand what should and should not be included and the accuracy of the data, especially when a household, and a householder has multiple sources of income, and very often misguidedly gives one that only contributes 30% of his income, as his main income source, especially when it comes to farming!
Nevertheless full credit to the Gnomes of the Bank and the Research and Data Collection Units of the Bank, most of them fairly highly paid, educated and with foreign Masters or PhDs that dot the Bank have been involved in its preparation.
The first 200 pages are the only ones that are actually page numbers with the rest being tables of statistics of one thing or another. The numbered pages is a rosy picture of the policies adopted and the general direction of the economy, showing the economy in very good light, and upon reading this one would think one was in a developed first world country with hardly a problem that requires solving.
Go out on to the streets and nearly everyone is wondering how they can survive on the income they currently receive bearing in mind the costs of everything that they consider to be essential. I wonder if there is a huge expectation and reality gap between the two and the one area I find almost impossible to comprehend is the huge GDP per capita of US$2500 or Rs310,000 for every man woman and child.
The Report of course talks about per capita at US$2800, but that was at the exchange rate average for 2011. I have taken current rates. So if the rupee falls further, the average for 2012 may show next year that in $ terms it has fallen, and so he will change the statistics to show some other basis!! Such are some of the examples of fools accounting resorted to by the Bank which has become highly politicized, losing its fiercely independent streak much to the chagrin of most of the staffers working there.