Published On: Tue, Apr 5th, 2016

Yet another wasteful expenditure by govt.!

The Attorney General says it it imprudent for the Agriculture Ministry to agree to rent a privately-owned building for a monthly rent of Rs. 15,075,000 without calling for bids and in violation of state procurement procedures.

The AG has sent his observations in audit report AGL/C/AGL/15/AQ/21 after investigating the matter.

He questions the ministry’s agreement to pay Rs. 958,000,000 for five years for the building in question, instead of constructing a building at a ministry-owned one hectare block of land at Battaramulla.

The ministry has agreed to a proposal by the owner of the building for a monthly rent of Rs. 167.50 per square feet of the building, although the government valuer has valued the rate at only Rs. 150 per square feet.

The agreement says the owner should be paid a 24-month advance and a 15 per cent increase in the rental after three years.

The cabinet approved the proposal to rent the building submitted by the agriculture minister on March 02.

PM’s orders

The prime minister had instructed the minister to relocate the ministry from the building near parliamentary complex, as the building is to be used to open an office complex for all MPs.

The first cabinet paper in this regard has been submitted by the PM, who has also suggested that the building at Rajagiriya, owned by the husband of actress Sabeetha Perera, be rented to house the agriculture ministry, say ministry sources.

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