Haphazard reform saddles Sri Lanka with skewed growth and persistent poverty.

Haphazard reform has saddled Sri Lanka with unequal and skewed growth, the World Bank says in its new country report. Haphazard reform has saddled Sri Lanka with unequal and skewed growth, the World Bank says in its new country report.

“There has been enough growth in Sri Lanka to have already achieved the millennium development goals of halving poverty, but we are very, very far from it,” said Peter Harrold, Country Director, World Bank on Thursday.

Harrold was speaking at the launch of the Sri Lanka Development Policy Review.

The report shows that Sri Lanka’s high poverty figures, despite extremely good social indicators, is due to the highly skewed pattern of development that cuts out distant provinces from the growth path.

The national poverty level only went from 26.1 percent in 1991 to 22.7 percent in 2002 – only a three percent drop despite sustained per capita annual GDP growth of over three percent a year.

The result is wealth concentration in more urban areas with a bigger income difference between the rich and the poor.

This one sided growth is attributed to weak or even non-imp