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* Sri Lanka's abject poverty levels declining
Fri, Mar 9, 2012, 12:29 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka has recorded the lowest number of persons suffering from abject poverty in the Asian region, Housing and Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said.

Addressing a tree planting ceremony in Ratmalana, Minister Weerawansa has observed that the country's economic indicators were on a positive path and that poverty levels were on the decline.

According to the World Bank data Sri Lanka has recorded the lowest number of persons suffering from severe levels of poverty among the South Asian countries.

The Minister has pointed out that the number of persons suffering from abject poverty in Sri Lanka stood at 7% while it was 32.7% in neighboring India.

World Bank poverty and equity data released for 2012 indicated that the poverty headcount ratio which is the percent of population earning below US $1.25 a day (PPP) in Sri Lanka declined from a 14% in 2002 to a 7% in 2007.

Similarly, in Sri Lanka people living below national poverty line declined form 15% in 2007 to 9% in 2010.

Elsewhere in the South Asian region 43.3% in Bangladesh in 2010 earned below US$ 1.25 per day while Pakistan recorded 21% in 2008. In Nepal 24.8% of the population earned less than US$ 1.25.

Sri Lanka recorded the second highest per capita income of US$ 2,240 in the region in 2010. Maldives topped the record with US$ 5,750 per capita income. India's per capita income stood at US$ 1,330 while the other countries in the region stood below US$ 1,000.

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