Cabraal, EPF officials to be grilled again by COPAView(s):
Central Bank (CB) Governor Nivard Cabraal and senior officials of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are to be summoned again before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) soon, to continue an earlier inconclusive meeting which was abruptly halted without a valid reason, a member of the committee said.
UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva told the Business Times these officials will be grilled for misusing the EPF money and letting the mafia make billions while at the same time getting control of private banks.
COPA is meeting next week on other matters while the EPF inquiry date is yet to be fixed.
After heated debate among ruling party and opposition MPs on numerous audit queries, the meeting came to an abrupt end upon being ruled by COPA Chairman Dr. Sarath Amunugama that Parliament staff should be allowed to leave at the end of their duty hours; even though the Parliament was still continuing. This incident took place while the Mr Cabraal was being questioned on a serious query raised by the Auditor General as to why the EPF had purchased shares of loss-making The Finance Company, Dr de Silva said. Despite CB attempts to defend investments made by the EPF in private sector companies, some stocks and commercial banks, opposition MPs in the COPA have emphasized the need to audit the 2011accounts of the fund through the Auditor General, other members in the committee said.
The COPA has to examine the audited accounts of the EPF from 2006 to 2010; the last year they have submitted the audited accounts to parliament. The 2011 accounts are still being audited and should be tabled soon, they urged at the COPA meeting held on February 6. Dr. de Silva said that all these years – up to 2010-, the Rs. 1.1 trillion fund (perhaps the largest in the region) had not been audited.
Only the administration accounts (negligible) had been audited. It is only with 2011 that the fund is being audited for the first time, another member of COPA revealed.
Questions like why did EPF buy shares of Laughs Gas or Galadari Hotel, etc ((essentially investment decisions) will have to be answered by the CB if such an audit query is instigated by the Auditor General, he added.
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