Western Province dominates prosperity indices | Daily News

Western Province dominates prosperity indices

The Western Province was the most prosperous region according to indices maintained by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The Western Province is 3 times as more prosperous as its closest competitor the Southern Province. Overall prosperity for the country declined on a year-on-year basis for the year 2019.

Sri Lanka Prosperity Index (SLPI), recorded 0.802 in 2019 compared to 0.811 in 2018, with marginal declines of ‘Economy and Business Climate’ and ‘Socio-Economic Infrastructure’ sub-indices. Meanwhile, the ‘Well-being of the People’ sub-index has improved during the year.

Spillover effects of the Easter Sunday attack on tourism and related industries increasing unemployment and relatively high inflation due to adverse weather conditions towards the latter part of 2019 were the key reasons for the decline in Economy and Business Climate sub-index. Reduced usage of public transportation due to concerns on security, the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack, mainly resulted in the decline in Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index.

Improvements in the aspects of quality of education, health facilitation and wealth of people were the major contributors to the increase in the Well-being of the People sub-index.

Eastern, North Central, Northern and Uva provinces have recorded improvements in the sub-index with increases in informal sector wages and increased formal sector employment. The deterioration of the sub-index in other provinces was mainly caused by decreases in employment and high inflation levels.

The sub-index improved in all provinces except for Southern, predominantly due to improvements in the aspects of health, education and wealth of people where vehicle ownership and access to supermarkets increased. Meanwhile, the slight deterioration of the sub-index in Southern province was mainly due to reduced levels in the aspects of the environment, entertainment and education.

Southern and Western provinces recorded increases in the sub-index with improvements to the road network, availability of electricity and enhanced crime-free environment. The decline of the sub-index of other provinces, with the highest decline recording from Uva, was mainly due to reduced levels of transportation and availability of safe drinking water.

The index is compiled using 41 variables, which are categorised into three sub-indices. All sub-indices have equal weights in the prosperity index.

The Economy and Business Climate sub-index is compiled using 9 variables categorised into the aspects of price stability, living standard, income, poverty, employment, industrial density and banking density. In compiling the Well-being of the People sub-index, 22 variables pertaining to the availability aspects of healthcare facilities, of education facilities, wealth, of entertainment facilities, air quality and purity of environment are used.

Socio-Economic Infrastructure sub-index includes 10 variables and the relevant aspects and availability of transport facilities, of road coverage, of telecommunication facilities, of ICT facilities, of electricity, of safe and quality drinking water, of sanitation and crime-free environment, are used.