November 15, 2019
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    Poverty cut-off figure rises to Rs 4,584 Featured

    February 16, 2019

    The country’s island-wide poverty cut-off point jumped sharply by Rs 52 to Rs 4,584 last month; complementing the increase in inflation, which saw last month’s Colombo inflation accelerate by 0.9 percentage points to 3.7 per cent over its December figure.That means people have to earn more to keep their noses above the water, without being swamped by the waters of poverty, to be downgraded by being classified as being poor.

    Sri Lanka’s last poverty headcount was in 2016, which saw 4.1 per cent or 843,914 individuals in poverty. The poverty cutoff point then was Rs 4,166 per person, per month. Since then, egged on by inflation, the poverty cutoff point has accelerated by Rs 418 to
    Rs 4,584.

    If the value of the poverty line is increased by 10% (from Rs 4,166 to Rs 4,582.60) then the poverty head count index increases up to 6.1 per cent, the Government owned Census and Statistics Department (CSD), which compiles such figures, said. That means that the number of people who are in poverty increases from 843,913 to 1,255,702. Further, if real per capita monthly expenditure is decreased by Rs100, then the poverty headcount index will be increased up to 4.5 per cent (933,087 individuals), it added.

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