With the advent of 2013, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday fired a fresh salvo at the Central Bank, asking where the audited accounts of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are for the year 2011.
“It is disgraceful and unacceptable that as at 1 January 2013, the audited accounts of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the year 2011 have not been tabled in Parliament. It is equally disgraceful that my letter, as a member of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), addressed to the Chairman on 17 January 2012, and multiple reminders thereon to summon the EPF to the COPA to investigate dozens of questionable transactions at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), have been overlooked,” the UNP MP said in a statement.
“This is in contrast to how the Parliamentary Select Committee worked overtime and completed its task within days to find the Chief Justice guilty without due process inter alia on a matter I raised in May with respect to a single transaction involving her husband,” Dr. de Silva added.
Following is the rest of the UNP MP’s statement:
It is well known that multiple allegations of fraud have been made against the EPF managed by the Central Bank. Several Opposition members including myself have continuously raised queries in Parliament, for which no responsible answers have been submitted.
Some trade unions have even gone to court on alleged fraud. One allegation is that the Rs. 1,000 billion fund belonging to the millions of employees was ‘prostituted’ for the benefit of third parties in the now infamous ‘stock market mafia’ by allowing them to pump and dump shares of various dubious companies on the EPF.
Allegations of serious conflicts of interest have also been lodged in its purchase of shares of banks and through those purchases appointing of confidants of the regime to their boards. In one case a convicted criminal, and in another, a person who ran a finance company found to have cheated thousands of investors, have been appointed.
By dodging Parliamentary questions, not submitting audited accounts and hiding from the COPA, the managers of the EPF at the Central Bank are only increasing the suspicion that some may have committed serious securities fraud punishable by prison terms if found guilty in a court of law.
The UNP demands that the audited accounts of the EPF be tabled immediately and all details of the 3,000 odd transactions be provided without any further delay. We also demand that the managers of the EPF be present before the COPA for initial investigations at the earliest date convenient to the committee.
Once these activities are completed it would be possible for Parliament to take action, if necessary, against those who may have committed white collar crime on millions of private sector employees.