Hundreds of trade unionists and civil society activists staged a protest demonstration in Colombo this week demanding the Central Bank to totally exempt the superannuation funds from the domestic debt optimization (DDO) programme.

The Trade Union and Civil Society Collective, one of the group of conveners of the protest, has urged the Central Bank authorities to provide them an opportunity to discuss the attempt to destroy Employees Provident fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF) as it was life time savings of the working public but not investment funds.

But the Central Bank has evaded the important discussion without giving reasons and it was unbecoming for the country’s monetary authority responsible for the people, they claimed.

However in a media communique, the CB stated that the opportunity was missed by the said group of persons to get their concerns clarified on the DDO, the manner in which the member contributions will be guaranteed through the implementation of DDO and as to how an investment return at a minimum.

Clarifying the demand of protesters, leading member of the Unite Organization Danusha Pathirana noted that their intention was to bring to the notice of the CB to fulfill five key demands without touching the EPF and ETF funds.

He said that the state can sieze the savings and fixed deposits of high net worth tax defaulters while cut down their bond repayments equivalent to their massive tax evasion money amounting to Rs 904 billion by 2023 according Inland Revenue Department data.

Such bond holders are getting high interest rates for their investments and therefore, the present value of the tax evasion money would be around Rs 2 billion by now.

The government would be able to save three times of the amount expected from the restructure of EPF and ETF by this massive tax recovery process and seizing the saving and fixed deposit accounts of tax evaders, he pointed out.

They also suggested to conduct a forensic audit to bring down USD 53 billion plundered by Sri Lanka’s businesses involved in the exports and imports trade.

They have plundered USD 36.833 billion (Rs 13.246 trillion) over nine years through intentional, dodgy invoicing, and stashing the foreign exchange earnings offshore.


Importers and exporters intentionally falsify the declared value of goods on invoices filed with Sri Lanka Customs, to make an average of USD 4.093 billion (Rs 1.471 trillion) evaporate every year, an extensive investigation by Washington, DC-based Global Financial Integrity has revealed.


The disparity in the Sri Lanka project loan disbursement and utilisation has been uncovered in recent government audit findings raising the credibility of state accounting procedure.

Sri Lanka has been taken project loans amounting Rs 8 trillion since 2015 but the country has assets worth Rs. 2 trillion in accordance with financial statements, Auditor General W. P. C. Wickramaratne revealed adding that Rs 6 trillion is missing from those assets.

The finance ministry should calf for forensic audit on this matter and recover the money from perpetrators instead of trying to restructure the EPF and ETF, Mr Pathirana added while demanding the government to abolish all tax exemptions given to BOI companies.


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