No dividends received for EPF’s 500 mn share investment in SriLankan in 2010

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) had not received any dividends from its funds amounting to Rs.500 million invested to buy shares in the Emirates owned SriLakan Airliens in 2010 on an intimation received from the Bank of Ceylon.

This was disclosed by the Superintendent of the Employees Provident Fund of the Central Bank of Ceylon Nalini Malkantha Bandara.

She was giving evidence before the Presidential Commission investigating alleged Fraud Corruption and Misappropriation of State Funds and Assets at SriLankan Airlines, SriLakan Catering Services and Mihin Lanka in September 28.

Cross-examined by Additional Solicitor General Neil Unambowe PC, Mrs. Bandara said that proper and continuous observation and assessment of the EPF began only after 2015 and there was no such practices prior to 2105.

She said Cabinet approval had been given on July 6,2010 for the Bank of Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to purchase only 43.63 percent of Emirates shares at SriLankan Airlines valued at 53 million US dollars. But breaching all regulations, the Middle Office of the Central Bank had taken this course of action in purchasing shares, according to documentary proof.

Witness said that the Bank of Ceylon had only informed that it would join hands with the Peoples’ Bank, National Savings Bank, EPF, ETF and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to purchase these shares.

She knew that apart from EPF, the other two banks had joined this exercise but she was unaware whether the other institutions had joined it. she said at the time this investment was made Ajith Nivaard Cabral functioned as Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Dr.P.B. Jayasundara functioned as Secretary to the Treasury. 

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