February 26, 2020
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    ‘Agriculture Ministry to return to Govijana Mandiraya by month’s end’ Featured

    January 22, 2020

    Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa affirmed that the Agriculture Ministry would be shifted by the end of the month from the DPJ building in Rajagiriya to its original building, the Govijana Mandiraya.He said negotiations are under way with the owners of this building, and that legal provisions are being looked at to see if the owners of the building could be persuaded to end the lease and release the Agriculture Ministry from the agreement, which is due to lapse in March 2021.

    Addressing a media briefing in Parliament, yesterday, the minister said that despite the agreement signed by the previous government to obtain this building for a colossal rent of Rs.24.4 million per month, and having obtained Cabinet approval for it, this building lacks adequate parking space—and most of the vehicles have to be parked on the narrow side road nearby, or on the main road. He also noted that despite this high rent, all the partitioning and furnishing had been done on the government’s expense.
    The previous government is said to have paid off the lease for the building in Rajagiriya, which has so far housed the Agriculture Ministry, until the end of the term in March 2021, it is reported. According to the agreement, even if the tenants vacate the building prior to the end of the 5-year lease term, the owner would not return the money paid for the entire period.
    He said that in the event the owners of the building does not agree to terminate the lease agreement, the Agriculture Ministry would still vacate the building and move to the Govijana Mandiraya; but another state institution occupying private premises where their lease agreement is about to expire, would be relocated to at the DPJ building until the lease term ends in 2021. Minister Rajapaksa said that by housing all 25 divisions under the Agriculture Ministry under one roof at the Govijana Mandiraya in Battaramulla, it would make it easier for farmers to get all required services under one roof, without having to waste their time unnecessarily.



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