Sri Lanka’s parliament will launch a new inquiry into a controversial government bond deal after the main opposition party said an initial investigation that cleared the central bank chief of any direct role was not independent.
The opposition United People’s Freedom Party (UPFA), which has a majority of seats in parliament, has alleged corruption in the Feb. 27 sale of a 30-year treasury bond. The government raised more than 10 billion rupees ($75.2 million) from the issue at 11.73 percent, after initially offering just 1 billion rupees with an indicative price of 9.5 percent.
In furious exchanges in parliament on Thursday, UPFA lawmakers protested the findings of an initial inquiry by a three-member committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, prompting parliament’s Speaker to announce a new enquiry.
“We will start the probe on Tuesday. We are going ahead with questioning all the officials including from the finance ministry and central bank who are involved in the bond issue,” D.E.W. Gunasekera, an opposition legislator and head of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises, told Reuters.
“We will also summon the central bank governor and we will report the findings to the parliament for action.”