The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in a letter to K. N. Choksy PC, Minister of Finance & Planning states "We welcome the commitment of the government to introduce pensions reforms.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce totally supports the proposed reforms process enunciated in the Budget 2002 presented in parliament by you.
As much as your immediate attention is focussed on the public sector pension issues, we urge you to also include the private sector pension rules and regulations in the reforms agenda.
Employee Funds in pension accounts and the capital market will benefit immensely if the government re-introduces rules to permit private sector Pension/Provident/Gratuity Funds to be established. The proposed reforms will include:
a) Removing the legislative barriers that prevent the establishment of private sector managed new Pension/Provident/Gratuity Funds by repealing the provisions of the Employees Provident Funds (Special Provisions Law No. 6 of 1975), brought into force 21 years later in 1996.
b) Facilitating the process for new Provident/Pension/Gratuity Funds to be admitted as approved funds by the Commissioner of Labour and the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, after satisfying themselves that the proposed funds will be properly managed.
c) Establishing a supervisory authority for the oversight control of the private sector approved funds.
As an immediate measure, we request you to facilities the following approvals, which we believe can be granted administratively pending the amendment of legislation under the comprehensive reform package.
a) Permit the Mercantile Services Provident Society (a Private Provident Fund operated under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with an excellent track record of effectively serving its stakeholders) to admit new member firms of the private sector.
b) Arrange the Employees Provindent Fund and the Employees Trust Fund to utilise the services of approved Fund Managers for management of benchmark portfolios of Debt and Equity Funds from the funds presently managed by the State Institutions.
May we also point out to you that the reforms impacting on the private sector referred to in this submission have been conveyed to and discussed with the previous government over the past several years. With the copy of this letter addressed to the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, we are sending copies of some of the key submissions made previously.
We would appreciate an early opportunity to review with you and key officials of your ministry the above submissions.
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