National Assembly session closes02:45

Published on July 21, 2015

Session approves govt plans, gives instruction for better results

The ninth ordinary session of the National Assembly’s (NA) Seventh Legislature ended yesterday after running for fifteen days with enthusiastic participation by people’s representatives from constituencies throughout the country.

After its opening on July 1, the session reviewed the government’s reporting on the implementation of the socio-economic plan over the past half of fiscal year 2014-2015 as well as plans for the next six months and next fiscal year.

The continued shortfall in revenue collection, significant budget deficit and rising public debt were the focus of NA members’ queries raised with the government.

Revenue from the sale of timber was also among the hot topics at the NA session with the assembly questioning whether the Prime Minister has used any tough measures against illegal loggers and wood traders as promised at the previous NA session.

At the session, NA members advised the government to structure the socio-economic development plan based on the reality of its capacity and resources, calling for no more public debt while helping to reduce social disparity.

Some NA members were confused over the government’s national socio-economic development plan as they noticed the government’s practices did not support its stated policies. They observed there were no concrete measures used against wrongdoers in relation to financial discipline.

However, the National Assembly praised the government efforts in concentrating various economic sectors on implementing the plan which contributed to good results in some sectors.

In her closing remarks to the session, NA President Ms Pany Yathotou highlighted some targets achieved, including economic growth which had been maintained, and several Millennium Development Goals.

She mentioned social and cultural affairs, environment protection, governance and cooperation relations with foreign countries and international organisations, which she said were improved and expanded.

Meanwhile, Ms Pany commented about some economic targets which were not achieved as planned such as some financial and currency policies which remained unsuitable and discordant.

She said improvements to economic structure as well as competitiveness in trade and investment, state and social governance by law and public funding mobilisation for development were slow and weak.

In this regard, Ms Pany noted that the session proposed that the government, local administrations at all levels, Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC), mass organisations, all economic sectors, and all Lao citizens enhance their responsibilities and solidarity for overcoming the difficulties in implementing the main tasks in the socio-economic development plan, along with budgetary and currency plans for the next six months and next year.

The session praised the State Audit Organisation (SAO) and Government Inspection Authority for their attention in guiding the implementation of the audit plan, and oversight to address the results of the targets subjected for audit following the NA resolution given at the previous session.

The session approved the appointment proposal with regard to the ministerial reshuffle made by the government, which was a measure on continuous improvement of government structure at central level to ensure effective implementation of duties. The session also praised the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor and People’s Supreme Court for their active improvement of their structures and that they had implemented their role with high responsibility. The session called on the judiciary bodies to enhance regular guidance and oversight of the implementation of duties of their subordinates to ensure they respected the laws.

The session praised the LFNC and mass organisations for their comments on NA activities, while also disseminated the public complaints for the NA to coordinate with other related bodies and authorities to resolve.

A highlight at the session related to the amendment to the Law on the National Assembly with an expectation that the amended law would give the right to the National Assembly to pass resolutions on the mistrust of a certain member of the government or the entire cabinet, following the call by the NA’s Standing Committee and one quarter of the total number of NA members.

President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, and other high-ranking officials from the Party and government attended the NA session closing ceremony.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on July 21, 2015