Missing audited accounts for Sri Lanka EPF is a ‘national tragedy’: legislator

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Mar 25, 2014 (LBO) – The lack of audited accounts since 2011 for Sri Lanka’s Employees Provident Fund since 2011 is a “national tragedy” which “trampling of the rights of people,” a legislator has charged. Harsha de Silva an opposition United National Party legislator has been pressing for the accounts for the fund, the country’s largest retirement fund to be tabled in parliament.

Though the money belongs to ordinary citizens who are not state-workers it is administered and managed by the labour ministry and Central Bank.

“The more than trillion rupees of EPF money does not belong to the government,” de Silva said in a statement.

“Nor does it belong to the Central Bank. The money belongs to the hard working employees of the private sector.

“It is the duty and responsibility of the various agencies of the government to submit to Parliament the audited accounts of its activity.

“A two year delay, particularly when multiple allegations of fraud have been leveled at its managers, is totally and absolutely unacceptable. It is indeed a national tragedy and trampling of the rights of people.”

De Silva said an examination by the parliament’s Committee on Public Accounts of EPF managers was “abruptly adjourned” and has not been recommenced despite multiple reminders.

He said the ministry of labour had not submitted 2011 audited account by a promised deadline of March 2014 and parliament has ended sitting for the month,.

“Even though these accounts should have been presented in 2012 various excuses have been forwarded every so often for the last two years to avoid tabling the most important accountability documents of the Fund said to be the largest in the region,” he said.

He said the fund was managed by the state with no worker representation. Allegations over questionable stock market investments have also not so far been probed, he said.