Home / Front Page/ Govt. defends EPF return to markets

Govt. defends EPF return to markets

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:05

  • JVP argues Govt. should reveal returns on specific investments to reassure public

The Government yesterday sought to reassure lawmakers on the new measures that have been taken to secure Employees Provident Fund (EPF) investments in the Colombo stock market, and insisted that the fund will not be misused. 

The Government also pointed out money in the EPF carries a State guarantee.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, responding to JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s question on Government plans to invest EPF money in the stock market again, held the decision-making is the responsibility of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

“The responsibility of the Trust is held with the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in accordance with clause 5 (1) e of the Employees’ Provident Fund Act No 15 of 1958. So, the Monetary Board holds the responsibility of the investments and the returns,” said Kiriella, rejecting any political involvement in the decision.

“The EPF takes part in the Primary Auctions and winning competitive bids, in order to fulfil the Government’s monetary requirements. Therefore, 95% of the investment basket of the EPF includes government securities. The decision-makers who take the decision to invest do not provide such information to third parties. The reinvestment basket of the EPF gets updated every three months and gets published on the website,” he added.

According to Minister Kiriella, the CBSL is carrying out a forensic audit on concerns raised in the report submitted by the Presidential Commission to investigate into questionable bond transactions, and the findings will be made available soon.

Highlighting the EPF’s profitability by investing in selected options, the Minister said: “In 1998, the return on investment was Rs. 9.27 million, in 1999 it was Rs. 43.55 million, and was Rs. 82.53 million in 2000. In 2001 the RoI was Rs. 114.4 million. The RoI was Rs. 236 million, Rs. 706 million, Rs. 438 million, Rs. 912 million, Rs. 439 million, Rs. 224 million, Rs. 347 million, Rs. 1663 million, Rs. 2678 million, Rs. 3016 million, Rs. 5598 million, Rs. 4065 million, Rs. 4714 million, Rs. 2993 million, and Rs. 3894 million in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively.”

However, MP Dissanayake rejected the Government explanation on the EPF re-investment options. “During the past, by investing EPF money in the stock market, controversial investors made money. EPF money was invested in failed companies. There is enough evidence on the use of EPF money to make money for controversial investors. By investing EPF money, the capital losses are incurred. It is better if the Government can show the investment and the Return on Investment (RoI) as a percentage,” said MP Dissanayake. (AH)  

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Writing on the wall

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Quick! Pick between reading this and opting to do something that really makes you happy. I suspect 99% of you would be more fulfilled getting to work half-an-hour earlier, going to market or school sooner than later, or simply goofing off at home or

Geneva: Right cause, wrong tactics

Thursday, 27 February 2020

The Geneva 2015 resolution is a hidden tripwire linked to a maze of claymore mines, some buried, some planted in ditches, others nested in trees. When this article appears, Sri Lanka may have nudged that tripwire. There was another, smarter, safer wa

Let my country awake

Thursday, 27 February 2020

‘Let My Country Awake’ is a poem Rabindranath Tagore wrote in 1910. The original Bengali poem was under the title ‘Chitto Jetha Bhayashunyo’. I do not know Bengali. But I suspect Tagore refers to the mind – Chitto and conquering fear – bh

Economy vs. environment – What you see in the mirror

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Do we buy organic vegetables? Or are we cost conscious and buy the regular vegetables? Would we rather live in United States or United Kingdom which have higher air pollution levels, or would we live in Myanmar or....

Columnists More