Resilient private sector responsible for high GDP
Without an improved security situation and favourable external environment, the envisaged eight percent growth in the Mahinda Chintana within 10 years is not possible, a leading economist recently observed. Dr. Harsha De Silva, lead Economist at LIRNEasia who was the guest speaker at a meeting of the United Professionals Group recently said that the Mahinda Chinthana also expected to raise investments by 28 percent to 30 percent of GDP and provided for a budget current account surplus both of which were not possible.
“It would also need to double agriculture and industry to grow by eight to nine percent and services to continue growth,” he said, adding that although China and India achieved much higher economic growth than Sri Lanka it could be said that Sri Lanka was achieving reasonable growth due to a resilient private sector.
He was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the group that despite India's growth rate overall being 9.2 percent some of the South Indian states had growth in excess of 15 percent but Sri Lanka's per capita income of US$ 1,200 was the highest in South Asia and unemployment was down.
“The mean household income was Rs. 17,000 per month with a high of Rs.26, 000 in the Western Province and a low of Rs. 10,000 in Uva. The poverty level was 23 percent. This meant that 23 percent of the population are unable to absorb 2,030 calories a day which is the minimum calorie require needed to exist.
To absorb this calorie intake the required income of a person is Rs.2,391 per month. In order to make people better off Sri Lanka had to maintain a high economic growth of eight percent from 2006 to 2015 to double GDP and an equitable distribution of income was also required,” he explained.