Is the Minister correct in what he says?
In order to assess the factual accuracy of the claim, we looked at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data on Sri Lanka and other countries in the South Asian region.
To find data on Sri Lanka’s GDP, we consulted the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) 2017 Annual Report. The data in the report contradicts the Minister’s figure on Sri Lanka’s GDP per capita for 2017. While the Minister cited a figure of US$ 13,000, the CBSL report cited a figure far lower: US$ 4,065.
To find data on the GDP of countries in the South Asian region, we consulted World Bank reports. This data also contradicts the Minister’s claim that Sri Lanka has the highest GDP per capita in the region. Within South Asia, the Maldives ranks the highest, with Sri Lanka ranking second.
As both of Minister Ranawaka’s claims were contradicted by official data, we classified his statement as FALSE.
To understand how the Minister may have erred in his statement, please read further.
The Minister’s figure of US$ 13,000 for Sri Lanka’s GDP was contradicted by official data. However, the figure for Sri Lanka’s GDP Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is international $12,810.
This figure is close to the Minister’s quoted figure of US $13,000. It is a possibility that Minister Ranawaka misquoted the GDP PPP per capita figure of Sri Lanka as its GDP per capita value. However, even in the event that the Minister was referring to GDP PPP figures, Sri Lanka does not rank the highest in the region: the Maldives ranks highest, with Sri Lanka ranking second.
For definitions, please refer the following links.
GDP PPP: https://www.investopedia.com/u…/purchasing-power-parity-ppp/
- Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Annual Report 2017, GDP per capita (current US$): https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/publications/annual_report/2017/en/3_KEI.pdf?fbclid=IwAR14hYK1BnFp_ahGobG9nzZceVP_8zs78YX3Xk0c2Th8DhPvoBrrOymgptc
- World Bank, World Bank Open Data, GDP per capita (current US$): https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=8S-LK&year_high_desc=true&fbclid=IwAR2zMQDvF39UW0hCSMA48g7xHR5eQdv9RQmnhZj3t85C-7k9SmHjnYSYOFI
- World Bank, World Bank Open Data, GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=8S-LK&year_high_desc=true&fbclid=IwAR2hF06SAsp8UAwXbXrYztA7TcgU6m5tgOtCGrCiCWEQHcdHZfGarAVcNpM