Govt could have avoided bond scam after effects: DEW | Daily News

Govt could have avoided bond scam after effects: DEW

The government could have avoided the after effects of the bond scam if it tapped into the Rs.33 billion reserve of the Bank of Ceylon, Communist Party General Secretary and former Minister DEW Gunasekara said yesterday.

The country’s biggest treasures are the three state banks, EPF and the ETF. This is the main strength of each government.

Even during the last global economic crisis, it was possible to save the economy thanks to these reserves, he said.

Addressing the 57 Annual General Meeting of the Survey Field Assistants’ Association in Colombo yesterday, he said the bond problem was caused by trying to obtain loans from outside without relying on the EPF.

The EPF was won after a struggle by workers with the assistance of trade unions during Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandaranaike ‘s government. It has Rs. 1.8 trillion in reserves. Governments have depended on the EPF to obtain loans. Ministers and MPs do not understand the value of the EPF, he said. Gunasekara said when there is shortage of funds in the treasury, it is possible to release funds from the EPF with a single telephone call by the Treasury Secretary.

He said state revenue plunged because of ad-hoc changes to the tax structure. The budget deficit has widened due to the increase of the indirect taxes and decrease of direct taxes. There should be a solution for the problem, he said.

Land State Minister T.B. Ekanayake also addressed the meeting. 


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