The Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare is housed at the World Trade Centre on a monthly rent of Rs. 1.6 million, Subject Minister Keheliya Rambukwella informed Parliament yesterday.
Responding to an oral question in the House, Minister Rambukwella said his Ministry office was housed on the 18th floor in the East Tower of the World Trade Centre, leased from Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Ltd., on a monthly rent of Rs. 1.6 million, with the lease set to expire in 2010.
JVP Parliamentarian Ranaweera Pathirana who asked the question said that when the interest on the Rs. 9 million deposit for the lease was added, the actual rent was over Rs. 1.6 million a month.
He questioned why such a high rent was being paid for an office space of 8,000 square feet, and proposed that the Ministry office be moved to the Foreign Employment Bureau building.
Minister Rambukwella said the office space was previously used by the Investment Promotion Ministry with a lease up to 2010, and questions as to why the space was allocated for a Ministry office must be directed to the Investment Promotion Minister and not him.
Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle then blamed the JVP for the current situation as the party had withdrawn its support to the Government.