Min. officials blocking moving of Agri. Ministry – Vidura | Sunday Observer

Min. officials blocking moving of Agri. Ministry – Vidura

The Cabinet proposal to shift the Ministry of Agriculture from its current location to Govijana Mandiraya is being blocked by certain officials at the Ministry itself, alleges State Minister of Agriculture and Kalutara district Parliamentarian Vidura Wickramanayake.

The State Minister told the Sunday Observer that bureaucratic mafia tries to continue, in occupying the controversial DPJ Towers where the Ministry has been housed since 2017.

“Not all officials are involved in this kind of activity, but certain people who are engaged in ‘projects’ for personal benefits. This bureaucratic mafia is the reason why agriculture in this country is at a standstill,” Wickramanayake added.

He said that he has received a letter from the majority of its employees voicing their agreement to move its offices back to Govijana Mandiraya. “There are about 290 employees and 240 of them have signed the letter,” the State Minister said.

Many Agriculture related organizations including the All Island Farmers’ Federation accused the decision of the previous regime to locate the Ministry of Agriculture at DPJ Towers paying a mammoth monthly rental of Rs. 23 million in addition to the millions spent as key money payments and furniture expenses. Hence, the Government took a decision a few weeks ago to shift the Ministry back to its original location, Govijana Mandiraya in Battaramulla.