The country’s war ravaged Northern Province has recorded the highest growth rate in 2011, improving its rank to sixth position from ninth in a prosperity index calculated by the Central Bank.
“The Northern Province recorded the highest growth rate and improved its rank to sixth position in 2011 from ninth position in the previous year mainly on account of an increase in per capita GDP, bank density, road density and schools with English medium classes and computer facilities,” the Central Bank said in a statement.
However, the bank noted that compared to other provinces, North recorded a lower performance in G.C.E. (O/L) pass rate and an increase in reported crimes.
The Sri Lanka Prosperity Index (SLPI) was introduced by the Central Bank in 2008 and consists of three sub-indices, namely the Economy and Business Climate subindex, Well-being of the People sub-index and the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index.
The Prosperity Index of all provinces increased during 2009-2011 with an improvement in all three sub-indices. During the period, the top five ranks in the SLPI were maintained by the Western, Southern, Central, North Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces respectively while Uva Province was ranked last in the SLPI.
However, the other war-affected province in the country, the Eastern Province recorded the lowest growth rate in terms of SLPI and its relative position declined to eight in 2011 from six in 2010.
The key reasons for the rank fall was, lower performance in employment, poor household percentage, secondary school attainment, G.C.E. O/L pass rate and telecommunication and computer facilities compared to other provinces.
Meanwhile, during 2009-2011 the SLPI enhanced all three sub-indices. According to Central Bank, the SLPI rose 4.1 percent in 2011 up from 3.1 percent in 2010.
“The most marked improvement for the period 2009 to 2011 was observed in the Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index which rose by 4.9 per cent in 2011 from 3.7 per cent in 2010.The Economy and Business Climate sub-index increased by 4.0 per cent in 2011 from 2.1 per cent in 2010. The WellBeing of the People sub-index increased by 3.6 per cent in 2011 compared with 3.7 per cent in 2010,” the Central Bank said.