Written by Staff Writer
23 Jan, 2020 | 8:09 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The Ministry of Agriculture shifted to the Govijana Mandiraya in Battaramulla today (Jan 23), from the much controversial building in Rajagiriya. The Ministry shifting to a privately held building in Rajagiriya gave rise to much controversy.
However, after the new government came into power, several factions stressed that the ministry of agriculture should shift to the Govijana Mandiraya once again. A cabinet paper was also submitted in this regard.
Today, State Minister of Agriculture Vidura Wickremenayaka shifted all operations at his ministry, to the Govijana Mandiraya in Battaramulla.
State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka: Do you see the losses caused by the high ranking officials? When you retire, you must write a book about this. I am not very knowledgeable about these matters. Can we file a case against this matter citing the losses caused to public funds?
Officer: The decision was approved in parliament, and the cabinet.
State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka: The fact that it was approved by the cabinet, is not an issue. In my view, granting approval and not granting approval is the same thing.
Following an observational tour of his office, the state minister responded to questions raised by journalists.
State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka speaking to the media noted that there is a cabinet decision instructing them to shift the ministry to this building and as per the report published by the auditor general, the previous decision to move was a deviation from due procedure. He added that they did not occupy the building for nearly one and a half years, but they paid rent during that period.
Wickremenayaka went onto note that this is not the only case, where the government is compelled to suffer heavy losses. He said the Central Bank bond scam is one such example. He noted that their officials fool politicians with fake development projects and ultimately the farmer and the consumer bear losses. He added that those in the middle, the high ranking officials and politicians benefit from all the commissions and bribes. He urged the Inland Revenue Department, and the Bribery Commission to look into the assets and liabilities of the senior officials who represented the ministry of agriculture.
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