The Government says it has paid its attention on alleviating poverty according to the pledge given in the manifesto of the 2015 Presidential Election and according to the UN sustainable development goals.
It is the view of the Government that economic development should consider social security, minimizing income differences, marginalised communities due to various reasons and development diversities in provincial and district levels.
Accordingly, a proposal made President Maithripala Sirisena, to declare the year 2017 as the ‘Year of Alleviating Poverty’ has been approved by the cabinet of Ministers.
This will give recognition to the need for Sri Lanka to have a macro programme and give priority to a collective approach.
A committee comprising of the relevant ministers and partners and headed by the President and the Prime Minister, will be appointed to supervise the programme.
A report said earlier this year that Sri Lanka’s record of poverty reduction has been encouraging, mainly due to increased labor earnings as demand for labor rose across a broad range of sectors.
Excluding Northern and Eastern provinces, the poverty headcount rate fell from about 22.7 percent in 2002 to 6.1 percent in 2012/13.
Per capita incomes also rose for the poor, corroborated by increases in the share of consumption devoted to non-food items, ownership of durable goods, and school attendance. W
ages and employment grew as well, particularly in the manufacturing, construction, commerce, transport, and communication sectors. (Colombo Gazette)