Labour calls for probe in FNPF investment

  • 28th October 2005
  • 2005
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Labour wants a comprehensive inquiry into the FNPF investment portfolio to see if they were in the best interests of members.

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s call comes in the wake of controversy over a decision to award design tender for the $220 million Natadola Marine Resort to foreign architects.

Chaudhry said FNPF was using members’ pension funds to engage in investment deals that were too risky.

Government has just amended the FNPF legislation removing the restriction placed on FNPF to only invest in “blue chip” companies.

Chaudhry said since FNPF now had greater freedom to invest in projects, there was need for more vigorous scrutiny of its investment portfolio to ensure members’ funds were not placed at risk.

“As trustees of the fund, board members are responsible for ensuring that the contribution of members is protected and that returns from investment are reasonable.

“Over the years, the rate of returns has been doing down and that indicates a bad investment policy,” he charged. Tourism was a high-risk investment.

Chaudhry called for an audit of investments by the Fund as the Fund’s transactions lacked transparency. FNPF had no right to play around with members’ savings, he said.

The fact that government is now FNPF’s largest borrower, has also raised concerns about the future viability of the Fund.