Sri Lanka underdeveloped regions deserve better – economist

August 13, 2007 (LBO) – A senior Sri Lankan economist has called for a higher allocation of resources for less developed regions of the island and special perks like higher pay for teachers serving those areas. Nimal Sanderatne, former senior visiting fellow at the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture of the Peradeniya University, said one of the reasons for inequitable development of different regions of the country was structural.

There is a great degree of inequity in the physical infrastructure and different facilities in outlying regions of Sri Lanka which are lagging behind the rest of the country, he told the annual session of the Sri Lanka Economic Association on Saturday.

“If you do not have certain facilities then people living there can’t derive the incomes they deserve,” Sanderatne said in a presentation on policies to redress regional inequities.

The sessions focused on the disparities in growth and prosperity of different parts of the island.

Recent studies have shown that most of the infrastructure, industries and services are concentrated in the Western Province which also contributes over 50 percent of the island’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Western Province, whose