The Inter Company Employees Union affiliated to the JVP is planning an island wide protest against the government s move to amend the Employees Trust Fund Act and Employees Provident Fund Act. President of the ICEU and former MP Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the government was going to amend those Acts to siphon off money from those funds.
He said: `According to the provisions of the existing Acts, the government is permitted only to spend the profit derived from investing EPF and ETF funds. The proposed amendments will help the government utilise the funds direct.` This would mean around Rs 850 billion rupees saved by the private sector employees in the EPF and the ETF would be taken over by the government, Samarasinghe said.
At present the private sector employees could withdraw their ETF deposits with interest every five years. The government plans to extend this period to 10 years, according to Samarasinghe.
Samarasinghe said: `The government is planning to lay its hands on the savings of private sector employees on the pretext of introducing a pension scheme by amending the existing Act. A pension scheme could be introduced without any amendments to the existing Acts.`