The government has sacked the Chairman of the National Savings Bank (NSB), Sunil Sirisena, over the delay in the procurement of a US$ One Billion loan from the HSBC, which NSB was expected to procure and guarantee for the government. The government was expecting the loan from the HSBC, facilitated by the NSB, which would serve as the front organization as well as be the guarantor.
The loan was expected to be approved two days before Vesak, and also more importantly, prior to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official visit to China, where he was expected to announce to the Chinese Government and its leaders about the billion dollar loan the country was to receive, via the NSB.
Convener of the Inter-Company Trade Union, Wasantha Samarasinghe, speaking to Ceylon Today, said the government had decided to remove NSB Chairman, Sunil Sirisena, over the delay in the procurement of the loan, largely due to the opposition of some board members. He said the reason for the delay in the loan being received was in fact due to two members of the NSB Board having reservations on the loan, despite the chairman having assured the Board that the loan and the mode of repayment would be honoured by the government and there was no reason for panic in this regard.
General Manager of the NSB, H.M. Hennayake Bandara, when contacted by Ceylon Today, said he had also heard that Sirisena was to be removed, and added there was no official confirmation.
However, he confirmed that the US$ One Billion Bond was being worked out and the process was definitely on. “We are definitely working on it and the process has to take its course. I am guided by the Board and cannot say anything more,” Hennayake Bandara said.
Speculation was rife that the chairman’s removal was imminent last week. Sirisena, when contacted by Ceylon Today, confirmed the government had appointed another person to the post. “I am waiting for the letter of termination to quit the job,” he said.
Sources said veteran banker, W.A. Nalani, has been appointed as the Chairperson of NSB. Ms. Nalani is the first woman to be the Chairperson in NSB’s 41-year history. (Ceylon Today)