In his statement, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka uses data on Provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to make the following claims:
1. GDP share of the Western Province is 52 per cent, while GDP share of areas outside the Western Province is 48 per cent; and
2. GDP has stagnated outside of the Western Province.
Are these claims true?
Fact checking Claim 1:
According to MP Dissanayaka, the provincial GDP figures he uses are taken from the CBSL Annual Report. However, the provincial GDP share figures quoted by the MP are very different to those in the CBSL Annual Report 2017, which contains the latest data. This report shows that (i) the share of GDP held by the Western Province is not 52 per cent, but rather is 39.7 per cent; and (ii) the collective share of GDP held by areas outside the Western Province is not 48 per cent, but rather is 60.3 per cent.
Exhibit 1 provides the data retrieved from the CBSL Annual Report.
Fact checking Claim 2:
The CBSL Annual Report’s data on provincial GDP share over time contradicts MP Dissanayaka’s second claim. While MP Dissanayaka claims that GDP has stagnated outside of the Western Province, the data shows that the total share of GDP held by provinces other than Western province has increased from 57.2 per cent in 2012 to 60.3 per cent in 2016.
Official data contradicts not only the statistics given by the MP on the provincial shares of GDP, but also his conclusion that GDP has stagnated outside the Western Province. The CBSL Annual Report supports exactly the opposite conclusion: in the last four years, the GDP of provinces outside the Western Province has grown significantly and at a faster rate than the GDP of the Western Province.
Taking all information into account, we have classified MP Dissanayaka’s statement as “BLATANTLY FALSE”.
Exhibit 1: Share of provincial GDP as a percentage of total GDP (2012-2016)
- Table 4, Statistical Appendix, Central Bank Annual Report 2017, available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/publications/annual_report/2017/en/14_Appendix.pdf