JVP to petition SC over loss suffered by EPF due to bond scam

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP-led Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) is planning to move the Supreme Court against the Monetary Board of the Central Bank over the massive loss suffered by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) due to bond scams.

President of the ICEU Wasantha Samarasinghe said the JVP also demanded the appointment of an expert committee to ascertain the actual loss suffered by the EPF due to bond scams.

He said the Central Bank had lost Rs. 55,850 million due to bond scams during the tenure of Arjuna Mahendran as the Central Bank Governor.

"Although the loss to the Central Bank has been calculated, they have yet to calculate the loss suffered by the EPF," Samarasinghe said, adding that Rs. 1,300 billion fund was the biggest one in South Asia with eight million members.

He said the responsibility of handling the EPF money as secondary investments was in the hands of the Central Bank Governor and the Monetary Fund, but there had been serious lapses on their part.

Samarasinghe said they also would force the government to bring in new laws to handle the fund in a more responsible way.

General Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ&GSEU) Anton Marcus said they would take up the issue with Labour and Trade Union Relations Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne at the next National Labour Advisory Council meeting.

He said the former government as well as the present had misused the EPF funds.

"When amending the EPF Act in 2014, we proposed to include a representative from a trade union in its advisory council, but it was dropped by the previous government," Marcus said.

Addressing the media at UNP headquarters, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said on Sunday it was the EPF which had suffered the biggest loss due to the Treasury bond scam.

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