Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Institute of Policy Studies (Amend) Bill in Parliament on 21st Jan 2014

The debate in Parliament on Tuesday 21st January, on the above was so that the Central Bank would be able to impose their direction to this think tank by appointing a director (or directors) to the Board and thereby effect its direction.

This is a grave mistake. The Central Bank is now meddling in all sorts of areas that are NOT part of its purview and it would be dangerous to add to that. They already have a board with the President’s representatives and those from Academia and Chambers of Commerce etc. however instead of the CB they seriously lack representation by the Country’s chief opposition party, who MUST as a matter of course be permitted to insist on a director, who can give their opinion on the direction that IPS takes.

The Opposition UNP has people today who are far more credible than the Govt. that is stuffed with sycophants, and in a situation of a dictatorship where only one man’s word matters in Sri Lanka, it is silly to add to that by another sycophant from the Central Bank.

It is bad enough that the Treasury foots the Bill of the IPS, thereby compromising its independence, but it has little choice in the matter, and if one has faith in the IPS CEO, in this instance Dr. Saman Kelegama, a respected Economist at the helm to steer it in an independent course having regard to the future direction of the Nation, then critical areas that require further research and knowhow will be pursued.

No matter what spin the CB puts there is big time massaging of its figures, we don’t what the IPS credibility so compromised also. They must be a counter weight, not a dead weight!!! This is becoming more apparent as the days go by.

The CB is getting dangerously out of its depth, without concentrating on the areas of its initial duty. This is reflective of a need for the Governor to assert more control over policy that amounts to attempting to go beyond with a benign if ignorant Govt. as to what they are trying to achieve. It is only the Treasury Secretary that tries to assert his authority when the CB gets too arrogant, but there is no one else. MPs have no clue, and Sarath Amunugama being the only one who can see what is happening, would rather be silent, wishing in his twilight to finish a political career without controversy that only breeds ill will, and he wishes to bequeath positive dividends to his family not wishing to be too controversial.

When the Minister of Finance is the President, what do you expect, when no one is in overall charge of the Ministry. There is a Deputy, but does he have any power? So who do you think wishes to be the de facto Minister? The Governor of the CB of course. So now, he  has the power to send a Bill up to Parliament, for the neanderthals in Govt who don't even know what the IPS does, to meddle in their internal affairs!

It was correct of the opposition to raise hell in parliament yesterday, but does the General Public know that? with a built in majority there is nothing they can do to change direction, so we are left to ponder on what might have been, not what is. Let us begin to ponder on WHAT WILL BE instead.   

In conclusion, I also feel the EPF MUST removed from the CB physically as well as in effective management  They do not represent the interests of the stake holders who are ONLY the contributors to it, and no one else, because it is the management of their  retirement we are talking about, not the ego of an individual.                                  


Jack Point said...

I had not heard about this before. Given the recent news that has cast fresh doubts on the credibility of GoSL stats, could this be a move to remove yet another independent source of analysis?

Anonymous said...

Is this Govt. out of their tiny minds to waste parliamentary time on such wonton destruction of the few remaining institutions that have some credibility.

There is far more important matters to state to attend to than pussy foot around.

Who is the royal idiot who initiated this? He must really be insane.

Anonymous said...

Appointing another director from the CB is unnecessary since the Governor of the CB is an ex officious member of the Governing Council of IPS. In the past, Governors like AS Jayawardena participated in IPS matters actively but did not try to influence the CB will on it. However, it is reported that the incumbent Governor has deliberately kept away from IPS meetings for reasons known only to him.
Hence, what is being planned now is to make IPS an arm of CB because ,it has valiantly questioned many policy actions of CB. It commands respect from international research bodies because of its independent and impartial position on policy issues.
With this new amendment, it will be gone and it is unfortunate that SL's civil society keeps a blind eye on the murder being planned by a section opposed to iPS's independence.