This comes at a time when the Government has pledged to double the ‘scholarship (payment per student)’ to Rs. 5,000 from Rs.2,500 now but the MF is unable to do so due to financial constraints, senior government sources pointed out. In his 2011 report, the AG revealed that “any dividend whatsoever had not been received for (the) Rs. 200 million invested by the fund as initial capital for 5 years from 2003 to 2007 (while) a dividend amounting to Rs. 5 million, Rs.4.8 million and Rs. 60.5 million had been received for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively”.
The AG’s report clearly states that no dividend was received from 2003 to 2007 while a dividend was received from 2008 to 2010.
All the 11,500 Mahapola scholarship recipients receive their monthly payments arising out of dividend or interest income from MF investments through Natwealth management of the funds.
These disclosures come in the wake of the recent stir created by the AG’s comments in the 2011 Employees Provident Fund report where it was observed that the value of share investments in 58 companies had ‘diminished’ by over Rs. 11 billion. The Central Bank countered media reportage of these comments saying these are only ‘unrealised losses’, meaning that such a loss would have been felt only if the shares were sold at lower than the original purchased price.