Shangri-La Hotel property, a valuable investment – State Minister Abeywardena | Daily News


 

Shangri-La Hotel property, a valuable investment – State Minister Abeywardena

Information and Communication Technology State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, addressing a media briefing, yesterday, clarified questions over the ownership of the property where the Shangri-La Hotel is built adding that it was prized investment to the country for which an agreement had not been signed for over three years by the previous government.

“Despite the availability of an estimate, which cited that this land is valued at nearly Rs.7.8 billion, no agreement had been signed for the last three years, for which we don’t know the cause,” he said. “There have been numerous reports that this land was sold, when it is not. I have with me the Cabinet Memorandum and other documents to prove that this three-acre-three-perch land was leased on a 99-year-period.”

The minister said that based on the estimate, the land on Baladaksha Mawatha where Shangri-La is situated is worth Rs.78 billion, for which Rs.18 billion has already been paid to the government. “According to the agreement, there is a balance of Rs.60 billion, which must be furnished before January 31, this year.”

He further said that once the payment has been recovered, the company is legally bound to the regulations governing the lease of the land. “The President, having come to realise the investment value of this property within the past few weeks, has taken steps to ensure that this agreement is signed and implemented,” he said. “There should be a return of Rs.250 million, while over Rs.400,000 will be recovered by the government monthly as rent.”

Based on a Board Paper submitted to the Board of Investment on May 28, 2018, the board had sought a directive to reassess the value of the land, as well as to make amendments which were requested for by the Singaporean Real Estate company, which submitted the initial proposal.

According to the initial proposal, Shangri-La was to be a 200-roomed hotel with 150 apartments and a shopping complex. This was later upgraded to 600 to 700 residential units, a 30-storey commercial tower, as well as retail and food courts. The investment for the initial assessment was USD 202 million, while the second one was upgraded to USD 250 million.

The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade had submitted a Cabinet Memorandum seeking the approval of the revised proposal, for which no action had been taken.

 


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