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Thursday, January 28, 2021

FTZ unions demand appointment of special commission to monitor transfer of EPF money

Anton Marcus

The Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & SEU) has demanded that the government appoint an independent investigative commission responsible to Parliament comprising trade union representatives to conduct a through investigation into all transactions, transfers of EPF funds and submit a report within three months.

The Joint Secretary of the FTZ & SEU Anton Marcus told The Island that corruption in managing the country’s largest social security fund, the EPF, under the Central Bank with the Department of Labour responsible for administrative functions, had increased exponentially with the government investing EPF funds in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Opposition Parliamentarians said that they would call Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and officials of the EPF management before COPE over the utilisation of EPF funds to purchase heavily inflated shares of Laugfs, Ceylon Grain Elevators and Galadari Hotel said Marcus.

He said that the EPF under Act No. 19 of 1958 interpreted and defined by the Attorney-General could only invest in listed blue chip companies and not in a company like Laugfs.

He said that the Auditor-General had raised queries over Rs. 3,459 million that had been in arrears and recovered in 2010 but not transferred to the EPF by the Commissioner General of Labour.

Marcus further said that the EPF had over trillion rupees in its accounts belonging to 11 million wage earners with over 2.3 million contributing members as at 2010. He said that over 250,000 in the plantation sector and 280,000 workers in the apparel sector were worried about the safety of their funds, as much as all other employees who were members of the EPF.

By Lal Gunasekera
IS

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