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PM came to know only in the morning: Rajitha

25 January 2017 08:57 pm - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Cabinet spokesman, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne today said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe got to know about the investor of the proposed tyre factory in Horana only on the morning of the stone laying ceremony and was considering whether to go or not.

He added that Mr. Wickremesinghe decided to participate in the ceremony on January 5th as it was a major employment generating investment and the plaque had already been erected at the site.

Minister Senaratne also said the government would reassess the land value of the 100 acres given to the proposed tyre factory in Horana and added Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was reluctant to participate in the stone laying ceremony on January 5th after he learnt as to who was the investor.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet news briefing yesterday, Minister Senaratne said it was a blunder made by the subject minister to give the 100 acre plot of land at Rs. 100 per acre on a 99 year lease for the controversial project and added the land would be given on lease on its commercial value.

Minister Senaratne admitted that the clearing of the land at the site has been suspended at the moment.

“When I was the Minister of Land, I changed the law in 2003 that permitted to lease state lands for Rs. 45 per acre that had been enacted during the colonial period. Under the current law, no state lands could be sold and maximum lease period is 99 years. Therefore, this land will be re-leased after a proper assessment and charged the commercial value of the land,” Minister Senaratne said.

Responding to a journalist, Minister Senaratne admitted that the investor Nandana Lokuwithana was a close buddy of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family and added people with money change their colours as and when they feel opportune.

Mr. Lokuwithana is to invest US$ 75 million (Rs.11. 25 billion) as a BOI project and the stone laying ceremony was held on January 5th. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has also given a huge tax holiday to the project in addition to leasing the land for a pittance.

Under the agreement reached with the BOI, Mr. Lokuwithana will also receive a discount of 70% for the premium he must deposit for the 100 acres at Rs. 10,000 per year for the 100 acres.

Minister Senaratne said the Cabinet and the CCEM discussed the project at length and President Maithripala Sirisena decreed that the subject Minister must submit the Cabinet paper for any project hereafter despite the CCEM giving the nod to go ahead for any project. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

VIdeo by Janaka

  Comments - 17

  • Premalal Thursday, 26 January 2017 06:05 AM

    It seems a bunch of loonies are running the country.

    lion Thursday, 26 January 2017 06:07 AM

    Most of the people has forgotten how things work during the period of Rajapakshas.Not a single minister dared to pinpoint any wrong doing. They accept any thing that Rajapaksha brought to the parliament for approval. The whole cabinet is more akin to the slaves of Rajapaksha than the servant of the people of this country. Present day at least these are discussed in the parliament. People know whats happening in the country. They can go to courts they can openly protest without any fear of being attacked by the goons of Mervin, Duminda Silva and notoriouse malupan balakaya of Mahinda Kahandagamage.

    arulini Thursday, 26 January 2017 07:44 AM

    The Secretary to the lands Ministry what has he done? he is responsible for this blunder. he should have advised the Minister early.

    sara Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:16 PM

    Only now PM knows our rank in the most corrupt cointries.He also knows that people gave them the verdict to eradicate corruption.

    Sam Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:37 PM

    How can anyone ever have faith in this country. Why would anyone want to invest here when rules are changed at anyones whim. Fix the root cause of these issues (goverment) rather than the invester. Any businessman will want to pag as little as possible, you should have the systems in place to negotiate the correct deal first time round.

    Bala Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:38 PM

    So CCEM made their money - cabinet approval only IN FUTURE. Why not cancel the whole thing like the Port Cty Project. Double standards. Yahapalanaya only in name.

    Sena Wednesday, 25 January 2017 10:01 PM

    No surprise. Everybody knows he is living in a dreamland.

    Jambi Wednesday, 25 January 2017 10:03 PM

    Pm is not aware seriously........

    upali Friday, 27 January 2017 11:39 AM

    minister malik said both president & pm aware of the investor. These people are talking free of charge. Cheap talks via DM Android App

    ceylon Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:00 PM

    is this the way the government is functioning in lanka .big theives investing their stolen wealth under diferent namessame as basilrohithanamal did and doing. via DM Android App

    Sajith Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:02 PM

    No offense. But based on his statement. The prime minister of the country doesn't know to which party we have give our GOVERNMENT land to. Isn't this more worrying ?

    Bakaladasa Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:05 PM

    Why do these people hoodwink the PM like this?

    concern Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:11 PM

    These are our new developments in the country!

    TONY Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:22 PM


    Sunil Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:29 PM

    where is the transparency in governance ? individuals who are behind this should be exposed and dealt with. Otherwise , people will lose confidence in the government.

    kondaya77 Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:34 PM

    The prime minister was out of the country when negotiations took place!!!!!!

    Thoththa Baba Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:48 PM

    President knows from newspapers and Prime Minister come to know only in the morning of an event. "Mekada Yaha Palaney " !

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