Investment of EPF and ETF monies in CSE: Ranil wants a reply


Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe raised a Point of Order in Parliament with regard to the query he had raised last month with regard to the investment of monies from the EPF and the ETF in the stock market.

“When I raised the issue, I wanted the following information to be placed before the House. This includes the number of shares purchased, the date on which these purchases were made, the amount incurred and the quantity of same and their value on May 1 this year. I was assured that a comprehensive answer would be given to this query but it has not been done.

When I asked the Government about the problem pertaining to the Z-score, the Minister of Higher Education gave a satisfactory reply and I thank him for it. But with regard to the question on the EPF investment there is no such answer. When the Leader of the Opposition asks a question, why cannot a reply be given? My question was on the defrauding of EPF and ETF monies. There are serious charges. We have to decide if COPE will probe it or if a Parliamentary Select Committee will look into it or if we will discuss it during a debate in Parliament.

We need answers to the questions I raised so that we can either accept or reject them. There is a huge problem in the country today. If five per cent of the EPF monies have been misused, it is a massive problem. Five per cent is around Rs. 50 billion.

Even if half a lakh of rupees is taken from that it does not matter. Do you mean to say that anything can be done with this money?
There is market manipulation in the Colombo Stock Exchange. Under the stockbroker rules, there are of trading practices and rules. There are allegations made that these rules have been violated, particularly unduly and improperly influencing market prices. The Colombo Stock Exchange can go into these matters. There are enough circumstances for the CSE to go into it. The CSE is asleep like Rip Van Winkle. Why is it sleeping? Is it involved? Is it protecting its friends or is the Government telling it not to do anything?

The Securities and Exchange Commission can grant a licence to stockbrokers and stock exchanges. It has defined what insider trading is. It is clearly defined. It has the power to regulate securities, go into any type of irregularity and determine if a person is fit and proper to be in the trade. All it has been able to do is go into one case of Dinal Wijemanne. If you open it, it is a can of worms. What the Commission has done is not enough. It should have acted under Section 23 A and take over the Stock Exchange which had failed to regulate the Colombo stock market. If it wants to clean this up, it has to take over the Stock Exchange for some time and clean it up.

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