Ex CBSL Chief says move of ‘fixing’ Rupee amidst criticism followed by successor at a higher price, but no one questions him!
The same move of ‘fixing’ the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar until March, 2022 by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) keeping the value below Rs. 300 under the approval of the Monetary Board, however, to meet public criticism, is being followed by its current administration, only at a higher price, and no one questions it, emphasised former CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, speaking to WION three days ago (17).
The former CBSL Governor made this remark as he was queried pertaining to the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the worst of its kind since independence, and the allegations of him being responsible.
Cabraal stressed that the decisions taken during his tenure as the Governor of the CBSL were moves authorised by the Monetary Board, and despite criticism, no one would have stepped forward to take the responsibility, had the Rupee been allowed to float amidst the ballooning debt as suggested by certain parties.
The CBSL’s policy of keeping the Sri Lankan Rupee at a fixed price was made during the tenure of his predecessor in September, 2021, Cabraal went on, adding that he maintained the policy until March, 2022 and that nonetheless they did resort to a policy change as demanded.
The CBSL operations for the past six months – from May 12, 2022 to date – under the watch of the current Governor have followed the principle of ‘fixing’ the Rupee against the US Dollar once again, only at a higher price, which is currently Rs. 371, and this does not meet the same criticism as he was subject to, the former Governor lamented.
Conclusively, Cabraal said he foresaw that letting the Rupee value float will not attract any influences, as it does not today, adding that the people should begin to understand the ‘wisdom’ behind the decisions made during his watch, compared to what is happening at the island nation’s monetary regulator today, thereby suggesting that he had committed himself to saving the country’s economy.