Duminda admits to paying Rs.21 Mn a month for building still unoccupied
Posted on March 14th, 2017
Dr Sudath Gunasekara Retired Secretary to Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike and one time President SLAS
Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake has admitted that his Ministry has been paying a monthly rental of Rs.21 million since April 2016 for the new building in Rajagiriya though still unoccupied.
“Since April last year, we have been paying a monthly rental of Rs.21 million and have informed the Technical Committee to hand it over to anybody who was in a position to complete the construction work as soon as possible, the minister said in an interview with Daily Mirror.
However, when asked what is the reason behind this transaction, the minister said “Let me give you an example; say that you are giving out a house on rent and I’m interested in renting it out from you, I would tell you that it would take another three months to get the furniture ready. We talk about this transaction in January and then I ask if I may start paying from March since I have to get the furniture done. Would you agree or not? The person giving out the building doesn’t care about when the building would be occupied. I have to change it to suit the needs of an office complex and this would only be possible once I have actually rented out the building.”(Kamanthi Wickremesinghe)
I urge all my readers to draw their immediate attention to the above news item and the interview.
This is not Duminda Disanayakas grandmothers money. It is money belonging to the people of this country. This is how our politicians rob public money with impunity.. Apart from the Minister I wonder what the Cabinet has being doing while a Minister plunders public money like this. I also wonder what the Secretary and the Chief Accountant to the Ministry of Agriculture who are permanent public servants paid by the public were doing while a politician- a five year contractor was playing hell with peoples money. Ranil of cause cannot intervene as knows how he has aided and abetted CB Governor in the Bond Scam.
At least the President the Head of the Cabinet should have stopped this mega deal.
Just imagine Rs 21 m rental for an unoccupied substandard and uncompleted building for nothing and 5o million five year advance as a permanent payment that cannot be set aside even as rent until five years are gone..
As a citizen I request the President to take the following steps immediately with regard to this highway robbery.
- Immediately get back the 50 m and the monthly rental paid at 21 m for 19 months
2. Cancel the deal forthwith and ask the Ministry of Agriculture to operate from the present premises
3. Sack the Minister both from his portfolio and the Post of General Secretary to the SLFP
4.Take legal action against him and find out where this money has gone and punish the culprits,
5. Call for explanation from the Ministry Secretary and Chief Accountant for negligence of duties and the failure to uphold their responsibilities as paid public Servants and causing such a loss to the State coffers.
6. Take immediate steps to stop this kind of things happening in future as a safeguard against pilferage of public money by politicians.