Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayaka has presented a cabinet paper requesting for another sum of Rs. 402 million to make necessary changes to the building rented out for the Ministry of Agriculture.
The building was rented out for 5 years at a cost of Rs.1855 million.
The consulting section appointed to recommend necessary alterations to the building to convert it to an office complex and to buy furniture had estimated that Rs.402 million more would have to be spent before it could be used as the Ministry complex.
They had also said it would take about a year to transform the building to an office complex and authorities have taken a decision to hand over the transformation of the building to the private sector to get the work done quickly.
The private sector too would take several months to complete the work. Already, the ministry has paid Rs.84 million at a rate of Rs.21 million for four months to D.P. Jayasinghe Tours and Transport, belonging to the owner of the building, the husband of film actress Sabitha Perera.
It has been reported that the deal to rent out the building for the Ministry of Agriculture was a result of an agreement between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and D.P. Jayasinghe Tours and Transport and the cabinet paper presented by the Prime Minister was not opposed by any minister.