State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne has said that those who stole public funds would continue to do so in spite of various counter mechanisms in place.
State Minister Wickramaratne was responding to a question Faraz Shauketaly posed to him on behalf of The Island on TV 1 on Oct 10, the day after UNPer presented the Appropriation Bill in parliament. Wickramaratne has estimated the budget deficit at a staggering Rs 1,807 bn.
Asked whether the government could have had an opportunity to present a better budget in case the alleged Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL)-Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) bond scams didn’t take place in Feb 2015 and March 2016, Wickramaratne said.
“The first thing, I would like to point out is……. I would like to separate the methodology that are being used and fraud. I would say, fraud, stealing, robbing and corruption can happen under any system. That shouldn’t stop us from pursuing what is the best system, best practices anywhere in the world. I think that in many different areas, Sri Lanka can certainly move to best practices even in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. I think we should separate that out because those who steal and rob despite whatever systems you have. On the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to the bond scam that you have just mentioned, it is an ongoing investigation. Evidence is coming.”