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* Sri Lanka Central Bank refutes baseless falsehoods on the activities of private sector retirement fund
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 01:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka Central Bank (CBSL) Tuesday dismissed an opposition politician's claim that the government was planning to amend the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Act to avoid making lump sum payments to retiring employees.

Main opposition United National Party (UNP) MP and Economist Dr. Harsha de Silva has told The Island Tuesday that the EPF with an asset base of Rs. 1.0 Trillion was badly mismanaged and losses were mounting.

Referring to the politician's claim, the Employees' Provident Fund Department of the CBSL said it categorically rejects all the accusations and insinuations leveled at the EPF by this politician and contained in The Island's story on the June 24 titled "EPF Act to be amended to avoid making lump sum payments to retiring employees".

The assertion that the EPF Act is to be amended to discontinue the lump sum payment method currently being adopted on account of the alleged liquidity constraints faced by EPF is absolutely false, the Employees' Provident Fund Department said in a statement.

The claim that EPF is in danger of facing a liquidity constraint in the near future is also an utter falsehood, it said.

"Further, the EPF wishes to inform its members and the general public not to be misled by these regular and vituperative allegations made by a certain politician with obvious political motives," the EPF Department said.

The EPF Department said the Fund is prudently and professionally managed in line with laid down policies, guidelines, and structures by professionally qualified staff, and there have been absolutely no losses incurred by EPF in its entire history.

The profits of EPF in absolute terms have increased from Rs.107.5 billion in 2010 to Rs.125.9 billion in 2013, the statement noted.

For the past 5 year period alone The EPF has earned profits of Rs.558 billion, the CBSL statement said.

The EPF Department said in evaluating the performance of a provident fund, the total returns of the fund must be considered, without dissecting the individual items in a large portfolio, on a selective or piece-meal basis.

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