The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) has failed to resume inquiries into the controversial investments of workers’ savings in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the last 11 months, raising serious questions about financial irregularities, United National Party (UNP) National List MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said yesterday.
Dr. de Silva told Daily Mirror that the PAC abruptly ended inquiries into such investments of EPF savings in the Colombo Stock Exchange on February 6, and since then nothing had moved on in this regard.
He said the PAC would not meet again for this year and therefore it would be a serious question for those interested in knowing the predicament of their savings in the EPF, the largest fund in South Asia with savings running to the tune of one trillion rupees. Also, the UNP MP charged EPF had not submitted its audited account reports to Parliament due for even 2011.
“We are now at the end of 2013. But, we are yet to receive the 2011 accounts report. I do not know why there is such a delay,” he said.
Dr. de Silva who is also a PAC member representing the opposition, said EPF savings had been invested in companies such as Hotel Galadari and Laugfs Gas. Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the current Chairman of the PAC.
EPF is a social security scheme of employees in Sri Lanka under the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. It was established under the Act No. 15 of 1958. The EPF offers a joint action plan by the employer and the employee to save money by targeting retirement and future to the government as well as private sector.
However, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said EPF was running its operations well according to the law of the country, and therefore there was no reason to be worried.
“EPF affairs are guided by the Monetary Board of Central Bank. That is it. There are officials handling its affairs independently under the set policies. All the reports have been submitted to the relevant authorities,” he said.
He said, “Some people try to implicate me in this case. They will become a laughing stock before the people one day.”(Kelum Bandara)