Cabraal blames AG for delay in auditing EPF Accounts

by Zacki Jabbar

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal had yesterday blamed the Auditor General for the delay in scrutinising the 2009 EPF accounts, Harsha de Silva MP said.

The MP told The Island that when he had questioned Cabraal at the first Consultative Committee Meeting on Finance for this year on why there was a delay of nearly 24 months in submitting the EPF’s 2009 financial statements, the reply had been that it was up to the Auditor General to expedite the process.

The Governor had also claimed that the relevant documents had been submitted to the AG in February last year, Dr. de Silva said, querying how a department which had been able to complete auditing the 2010 accounts of the Employees Trust Fund, the Bank of Ceylon, Peoples Bank and National Savings Bank, could be lethargic or inefficient.

The MP said that that he had also made a written request to the Chairman of the Consultative Committee Meeting on Finance, to summon the EPF officials before the Public Accounts Committee to answer multiple questions on issues, some of which dated back to 2005.

The EPF should be subjected to a thorough scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee since the Rajapaksa government had failed to do so since 2005, De Silva said.

Commenting on the EPF Amendment Bill that to be presented in Parliament on Wednesday, he said that due to the pressure applied by the UNP and various trade unions, the government had at least temporarily removed the clauses that were to establish a Private Sector Pension Fund with the hard earned savings of the members.

Yesterday’s Consultative Committee Meeting on Finance was chaired by Senior Minister for International Monetary Affairs Sarath Amunugama in the absence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who sometimes presided over the proceedings in his capacity as Finance Minister.

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