Govt. evading questions on EPF, ETF: Ranil


Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday blamed the Government for not giving the proper answers to questions he raised in Parliament on all the EPF and ETF share purchases by the Central Bank from January 2010 to the end of April this year.

He said he made a statement in Parliament requesting the Government to inform the House of the present position of the investments made by the EPF and the ETF certified by the Secretary of the Finance Ministry as the chief accounting officer of the two funds, and to provide this information in a particular format he had given.

Mr. Wickremesinghe told the Sunday Times the Government tabled the Equity Investment Portfolio of the EPF and ETF and the Summary of the Investments of the ETF.“It is not the reply to my question and has avoided answering me. It is not certified and does not give the date of purchase, the purchase price and the quantities. In fact, it refers to purchases which are outside the time frame such as Blue Diamonds, Chemanex, Maskeliya Plantations etc.,”, he said.

The Opposition Leader said some of these EPF and ETF related transactions had taken place on April 10 and 18 during the nonagathey period of the National New Year holidays when the share market was inactive.

Meanwhile, an announcement is to be made on Tuesday that the Colombo Stock Exchange will begin a Sri Lanka Index in collaboration with the international rating agency Standard and Poor’s which criticised the Central Bank’s conflict of interest issues over its investment of EPF and ETF monies in the stock market.

The rating agency was also critical of the Bank’s supervision of finance companies and took into account the status of the rule of law in Sri Lanka in a stinging attack which rated the Sri Lankan banking system as “very high risk”.

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