Sri Lanka’s poverty line soars past Rs 5000 in May

Sri Lanka’s poverty line soars past Rs 5000 in May

Sri Lanka’s poverty line soars past Rs 5000 in May

Written by Hassaan Shazuli

16 Jun, 2020 | 3:06 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s poverty line in May topped Rs 5000 for the third time this year, after two months, official figures show.

A person would require Rs 5006 for his monthly expenses, according to the department of census and statistics.

“We take several factors into account, including a person’s income, and also expenses on food and clothing,” an official, familiar with the count, told News 1st.

Latest figures showed that nine districts were above the poverty line, 15 were below that, while one district was on par.

The highest average monthly expense stood at Rs 5434 in capital Colombo, while the lowest average was Rs 4713 in Monaragala.

In May last year, Sri Lanka’s poverty line stood at Rs 4812, the department of census and statistics noted.

Sri Lanka’s poverty line topped Rs 5000 in January and February this year but had dropped to around Rs 4900 in March and April amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government, in April and May, had paid a Rs 5000 grant for at least 2.3 million families below the poverty line, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but scrapped it off in June.

At least 6.7 percent of Sri Lanka’s 22 million people were below the poverty line in 2019.

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