July 15, 2013 (LBO) – A faster rise in expenditure than income and a reduction in consumption of rice and wheat was a concern that policymakers have to pay attention, a legislator and economist said. Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said, according to the initial results of a 2012 household income and expenditure survey of the statistic office, real expenses (after adjusting for inflation) of a household had risen to 24,631 rupees from 22,704 over 2.5 years.
The mean real expenses of a household had risen from 22,704 to 24,631 rupees. While income had increased by 1,412 rupees, expenses had increased 1,927 rupees in the period.
He said the implications of the data needed to be examined in the context of current economic policies.
De Silva has also be a sharp critic of high taxes on food and while tax exemptions to various powerful sections including branded items and racing cars.
He said both rice and wheat consumption had fallen. Sri Lanka keeps import duties high on both rice and wheat forcing the hungry to prices higher than most of the rest of Asia for basic carbohydrates.
Critics have warned that the autarkic policies that promote self-sufficiency by trade restricti