For the past three years, Rs. 504 million had been paid as the rent, and if the renting agreement is cancelled, the ministry will have to pay Rs. 456 million, said a ministry spokesman.
He said there is no other building for the ministry either.
According to him, the ministry owns one hectare land at Battaramulla, and the Rs. 960 million could easily have been used to construct a new building in that land.
The speaker has been asked in writing to return the Govijana Mandiya, where the ministry had been housed previously, which has been taken over by parliament to locate its committees.
The government-estimated monthly rent for the present building was Rs. 14 million, but it has to pay Rs. 21 million – Rs. 15 million as the rent and Rs. six million as services fees.
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has appointed a committee to look into the possibility of getting back the rent money already paid and to cancel the agreement before five years.