• Last Update 2022-12-03 10:08:00

Central Bank should remain independent, urges Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

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Sri Lanka’s top business chamber on Monday urged that the Central Bank and similar institutions should be allowed to function independently without any control from state authorities.

“The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is firmly of the view that institutions like the Central Bank of Sri Lanka should be allowed to function independently in performing its mandate as in most other countries, particularly at this stage when the country is grappling with a major economic crisis,” it said in statement.

There was no reason attributed to this sudden call and support for the Central Bank to remain independent. Business analysts said the CCC call many have been prompted by a statement in Parliament last week by MP and UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardene calling for the Central Bank to toe the government line.

“We emphasise the need to reintroduce the Central Bank Act which was proposed in 2018 when the current President was Prime Minister to enable an independent Central Bank, prioritise price stability and limit the monetisation of the fiscal deficit,” the CCC said.

The chamber reiterated the need for a strong and independent Central Bank which is paramount in driving Sri Lanka’s economic revival.

It said over the decades, Sri Lanka has been hampered by weak institutions and poor governance that has deteriorated the efficiency of the public sector and led to sub-optimal policymaking on the economic front. The present plight of the country has been attributed by many experts to weak institutions that have not been able to perform their role in line with expectations due to excessive political interference. The success of the journey taken on by the Government to move out of the current debacle with the support of development partners and the international community will undoubtedly rest on the commitment it demonstrates towards better governance and adoption of best practice, it said.

The chamber said it recently published a set of proposals to ensure an independent, productive and efficient public service. These proposals are aimed to ensure formal checks and balances within the public sector, and improve efficiency in order to transform the public sector into a people centric arm of the state. “It is vital that proposals such as these are implemented so that national development can be accelerated through efficient and independent service delivery by the Government,” the chamber said.

 

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