ECONOMYNEXT – The revolving restaurant on the Colombo Lotus Tower will be opened to the public on Saturday December 09, Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amungama said.
Speaking at an event in Colombo on Thursday December 07, Amunugama said lease agreements for all available spaces at the Lotus Tower complex have already been signed.
Chief Administrative Officer of Colombo Lotus Tower Pvt. Ltd Major General Prasad Samarasinghe (Rtd) speaking at the event said the company has earned some 1,026 million rupees in revenue over the last 14 months.
This income was from the 14 million people who have visited the tower during that period.
“That was our only income till now. From here on, we can earn more revenue after the opening of restaurants, the digital art museum and South Asia’s only and tallest revolving restaurant,” said Samarasinghe.
The operation costs of the company, he said, stand at around 45 million rupees a month, incurred for maintenance and salaries. The company employs 72 people, he added.
State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe who also attended the event said the Lotus Tower exemplifies the government’s approach to involving the private sector in economic development.
“The government’s policy is to get the private sector to contribute to the strengthening of the economy. One step of that is the restructuring of state-run businesses. The operations of the Lotus Tower have justified this process of restructuring. We have shown the beginning of a new economic process that seeks to sidestep mistakes and weaknesses,” he said.
There were reports in May this year that President Ranil Wickremesinghe was considering changing the name of the Chinese-built tower.
The 350-meter or 1,150-feet tower, the tallest in South Asia, was built at a cost 104.3 million US dollars with 80 percent of the money borrowed from Exim Bank of China. China National Electronics Importers and Exporters Corporation (CEIEC) and Aerospace Long March International Trade Co. Ltd, (ALIT) were said to be the contractors.
Located in the commercial heart of Colombo, the tower has been called a symbolic landmark of Sri Lanka as well as a colossal white elephant and has been mired in controversy for years. Former Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena made headlines in September 2019 when he claimed two billion rupees (11 US million dollars at the time) had been appropriated in a deal to work on the tower’s construction. (Colombo/Dec08/2023)