Parliament: Minister reveals Rs. 38 mn pension fraud

By Saman Indrajith

Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne told Parliament yesterday that paying pension arrears through the Divisional Secretariats had been stopped after receiving information that a huge fraud amounting to over Rs. 38.2 million had taken place in several Divisional Secretariats.

The Minister, responding to several questions raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Wednesday, said that payment of pension arrears through divisional secretariats had been stopped by Circular No 06/2014 following reports of misappropriation of funds. An investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department was underway to identify the culprits, Parliament was told.

There were several instances of siphoning off funds allocated for the payment of pension arrears by the Warakapola Divisional Secretariat. The total amount that had been defrauded amounted Rs 18 million, the minister said.

Another official attached to the Kegalle Divisional Secretariat had swindled Rs. 6.2 million, Minister Seneviratne said. A senior public official from the Southern Province had been receiving two pensions and he had obtained about Rs 2.2 million fraudulently, the minister said. There was a pension fund fraud amounting to Rs 8.4 million at Walapane Divisional Secretariat. An official of the Galnewa Divisional Secretariat had swindled around Rs 3.4 million from the pension arrears fund. In addition there were around 3,000 dubious pension accounts in the People’s Bank. Those accounts were being investigated, Seneviratne said.

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