SC summons PBJ and Cabraal in EPF case
Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr. P.B. Jayasundera have been summoned by the Supreme Court to appear on February 13 in a fundamental rights case filed by 11 trade unions against questionable investments of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).
Lawyers for the petitioners said the case relates to investments being made by the state-owned pensions fund in unstable companies without any transparency process. The two top officials were noticed to appear in court when the case came up for hearing on Monday, December 3.
The petitioners are seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court to direct the Attorney General to launch a full criminal investigation on the alleged fraud and stock market manipulation using these funds. They cited the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, its Chairman cum Governor of Central Bank Ajit Nivard Cabraal, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Members of the Monetary Board as well as the Commissioner General of Labour, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Attorney General as respondents. President of the Inter Company Employees Union Wasantha Samarasinghe told the Business Times that attempts have been made to use nearly Rs.120 billion from the EPF in the share market and inflict massive losses in the fund.
Mr. Samarasinghe said the filing of the FR case was a victory in the struggle carried out by trade unions to protect the EPF adding that trade unions have resolved to struggle to protect the fund and mediate fully to get legal protection for the fund. He revealed that the EPF had invested in equities in companies listed even in the Diri Savi Board (the secondary Board in the Colombo Stock Exchange), which consists of companies that are considered obviously less stable for investment of EPF funds having regard to the liquidity and frequency of reporting,