Aug 08, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade ministry and the urban development authority plan to build a 15-story government complex in the suburb of Rajagiriya, just outside the capital Colombo, ministry secretary R M K Ratnayake said. The cost of the project will be around three billion rupees which will be allocated by the state treasury.
The new complex will come up on two acres of prime property owned by the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE), a government organization that buys and retails essential commodities.
The property had been until recently used as a government ‘budget shop’ where essential commodities were sold at prices lower than the market price.
This was part of the measures taken by the government to cope with record inflation which drew widespread criticism especially from the poor.
Inflation hit near 30 percent earlier this year but the latest figures show it has begun to moderate although still the highest in Asia.
Ratnayake said some of the private traders that operated from the budget shop had not sold goods at the lower prices as expected.
Furthermore, he said there were security concerns about having a retail outlet at the location as the property is on the main highway l