Sri Lanka regional economic disparities narrowing: Central Bank

July 13, 2009 (LBO) – Regional economic disparities in Sri Lanka declined further last year although the Western Province continued to dominate with 45.4 percent share in gross domestic product (GDP), the Central Bank said. Provinces with smaller GDP have grown faster but a few lag behind and need more support, it said in a statement on provincial GDP in 2008 based on a breakdown of GDP estimated by the Statistics Department.

The per capita income (PCI) in the Western Province of 347,730 rupees (US$3,210) was 1.6 times the national per capita of 218,161 rupees ($2,014), while all other provinces continued to fall below the national per capita income.

The island’s national GDP at current prices grew by 23.2 percent in 2008, reaching 4,411 billion rupees.

“The regional disparity declined in 2008 and has been declining from 1996,” the statement said.

During the year, the Western Province’s share in GDP reduced further to 45.4 percent in 2008 from 46.5 percent in 2007, according to revised estimates, the Central Bank said.

The contribution from all other provinces except Uva Province in the central hills either increased or remained at the same level over the previous year.

“As in the previou