Sri Lanka to set up prosperity index to track rural growth

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

June 26 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is to introduce a prosperity index to track the progress of the island’s provinces which are lagging behind and have high levels of poverty, Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. It will also set up a results-based monitoring and evaluation system to see how development in the provinces is taking place.

These measures are being taken to ensure better balanced growth among Sri Lanka’s provinces, most of which have not kept pace with the western province, which accounts for over half of the gross domestic product.

“Based on progress, the provinces will be rewarded by extra development funds being allocated to them next year,” Cabraal told a seminar on regional development.

The prosperity index will be based on a set of indicators and demographic trends such as employment growth and income.

The World Bank has pointed out that the Western Province, which is open to the world and has seen most economic reform is growing fast and poverty has fallen to six percent, while agriculture based provinces where government interference is heavy, people are mire in poverty.

The government for example frequently interferes in the production and pricing of rice, by giving