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Sri Lanka’s JVP questions privatizing management of Independence Square arcade

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has questioned the 10-year lease of a government shopping arcade to a private firm for management, asking to reveal whether open tenders were called.

JVP legislator Anura Kumara Dissanayake told parliament that the Independence Square Arcade was built at the cost of 700 million rupees in tax payer money as part of beautifying Colombo city.

However it was now making losses and it was being given on a 10-year lease Sri Lanka’s Softlogic group.

He questioned the process behind the Urban Development Authority, which comes under Minister Nalaka Godahewa.

“State Minister NalakaGodahewa should make a statement to the Parliament on whether an open tender process was called to lease the Arcade Shopping Complex,” he said.

He questioned whether there was cabinet approval for the deal.

Dissanayake also took a swipe at the ruling party over privatizing the management of the shopping arcade which he claimed went against its political platform, which opposed giving state assets to private companies.

“How does the leasing of Arcade shopping complex, a state property under the UDA is connected with the mandate given to the sri Lanka Mah

A government statement Wednesday said the Arcade Independence Square shopping complex which was under the Urban Development Authority has been handed over to the Softlogic Holdings PLC under a 10-year- lease agreement.

The ownership will remain with the UDA. The UDA refurbished several historic building dating back from the British period into arcade. (Colombo/Mar25/2021)

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