Business Times

Sri Lanka's poverty further decreases

Average income levels in nine districts of six Sri Lankan provinces exceeded the national poverty line of Rs.3178 of October 2010, the President's Office said this week. The national poverty line was Rs.3072 in May, Rs.3098 in June, Rs.3097 in July, Rs.3111 in August and Rs.3178 in October 2010 showing an increase in the poverty line at national level, it said in a press release issued through the Policy Research and Information Unit (PRIU).

According to the Department of Census and Statistics, the poverty line at national level is the minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs. Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha districts in the Western Province rank highest above the poverty line with personal expenditures of Rs.3540, Rs.3367 and Rs.3453, respectively in October, the statement said. Personal expenditures in the other districts above the poverty level are: Kandy (Rs.3256), Nuwara Eliya (Rs.3405), Galle (Rs.3268), Puttalam (Rs.3198), Badulla (Rs.3252) and Kegalle (Rs.3254).

Poverty levels in Matale (Rs.3146), Matara (Rs.3114), Hambantota (Rs.3063), Kurunegala (Rs.3103), Anuradhapura (Rs.3013), Polonnaruwa (Rs.3138), Moneragala (Rs.3009) and Rathnapura (Rs.3170) rank just below the poverty line although there is an increase in the poverty line in all these districts since the previous month of September.

The poverty line at national level rose rapidly since the 2002 level of Rs.1423. It was Rs.2845 in 2008, Rs.2942 in 2009, Rs.3003 in 2009 November, Rs.3038 in 2009 December, Rs.3079 in 2010 January, Rs.3087 in 2010 February, Rs.3057 in 2010 March, Rs.3025 in 2010 April, Rs.3072 in 2010 May, Rs.3098 in June, Rs. 3097 in July, Rs. 3111 in August and Rs. 3141 in September. "These figures do not cover the Northern and Eastern Provinces," it said.

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