Economic Development versus Social Development: In the Case of Sri Lanka

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Wasantha Rajapakshe


Aims: After the independence from British in 1948, all successive governments have operated welfare programs as a development strategy. The objective of this paper is to investigate and analyze the major food subsidy programs which are functioned until today and check their effectiveness with regards to the two meaning of development; traditional and modern meaning.

Study Design: This is survey research based on secondary data and involved an extensive literature review on the area of concern to provide an overview of the social welfare programs and economic impact of Sri Lanka. 

Methodology: For this study therefore data collected from various published sources and analyzed with descriptive statistics and presented as graphs, percentages to show the trends.

Results: It is not the attention to conclude this investigation with purely negative opinion.  However, Sri Lanka has not enjoyed sustainable health growth rate after the independence. Except for occasional booms, which had for only 2-3 years in early 1980s’. Therefore according to the traditional meaning of development, clearly Sri Lanka is a less developed country. The decades of welfare policies act as a development strategies in modern point of view.  Sri Lanka always considers as a model country.  Comparing developed countries, Human Development Index (HDI) in Sri Lanka has a higher rank.  Is that mean Sri Lanka is a developed country?  According to the two doctrine, development is not only economic growth but also human development. It is essentially a mix tasks. Therefore, Sri Lanka Experience confirm that the fact that neither purely welfare policies nor even growth oriented policies supported by welfare programs can be a substitute for more upfront institutional measures for overcoming poverty and inequality and development of a country.

Economic development, social development, Sri Lanka

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How to Cite
Rajapakshe, W. (2019). Economic Development versus Social Development: In the Case of Sri Lanka. South Asian Journal of Social Studies and Economics, 3(1), 1-9.
Original Research Article