Sri Lanka chambers ask for probe on official statistics

Jan 07, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s key business chambers have called for a probe on official statistics following reports on how an official was allegedly asked to boost gross domestic numbers in a court filing. “If such doubts were to persist, it would lead to a lack of credibility on a range of published data & have serious implications on investor confidence & country ratings,” business chambers said in a joint statement.

“Therefore, The Joint Chambers of Commerce urge the authorities to investigate the relevant allegations in a credible & transparent manner and to establish the integrity of data published by all agencies as a matter of urgency.”

The allegations had been denied by state statistic office.

Some of Sri Lanka’s economic statistics, especially gross domestic product numbers have been questioned by analysts partly due to numbers not matching some observed data such as soaring construction sector growth amid falling cement sales.

A bloated gross domestic product number can have problems for citizens such as showing a lower than actual revenue to GDP, despite visibly high taxation, leading to calls by statists to increase government revenues and expand the state further.

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