Party and Govt indebted to EDL

Published on July 31, 2014

Party and government agencies indebt to EDL amount to about 400 billion kip

Introduction: Party and government agencies are now indebted to Electricite du Laos or EDL, the country’s state-own enterprise which amounted to about 400 billion kip. The Ministry of Energy and Mine’s Energy Policy and Planning Department Director General Dr Daovong Phonekeo clarified that, State sectors have regularly paid their electricity bills to EDL but their allocated budget to pay the bills is not enough.

The Minister of Finance Dr Lien Thikeo has clarified the matter for National Assembly members at the ongoing session, saying that the ministry will be in charge of paying the debt for those agencies as a way to help the company address financial liquidity issues.

It is reported that, Party and government agencies are now indebted to Electricite du Laos (EDL), the country’s state-own enterprise which amounted to about 400 billion kip.The outstanding debt has affected the financial liquidity of the company and its efforts to expand the business and generate electricity to meet the need for socio-economic development and for export.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Energy and Mine’s Energy Policy and Planning Department Director General Dr Daovong Phonekeo on Wednesday further clarified Lao media regarding processes to facilitate debt payment and how to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance. He said State sectors have regularly paid their electricity bills to EDL but their allocated budget to pay the bills is not enough when compared with the actual electricity consumption in their respective sectors as it currently stands.

As their electricity bills are often higher than the budget they receive, various sectors and departments overestimate their consumption for the following year in an attempt to secure sufficient funds when submitting their budget proposals.

In addition, the funds allocated to various state sectors for the payment of utilities bills did not necessarily always end up being put towards its intended use, thereby racking up considerable debts to the state electricity utility EDL.

From now on, the Ministry of Finance will be in charge of paying the bills for the state sectors, meaning that the EDL will submit the bills to the ministry for bill payment.

But observers are concerned that state agencies may not be active as they used to be in ensuring that the energy is consumed in an effective manner. One of the most important things is to clearly identify the electricity meters of all sectors to ensure that all electricity is consumed for the sectors, avoiding a loophole allowing individuals to use state electricity for their own benefit.

Dr Daovong emphasised the significance of using electricity in a responsible manner for the collective benefit of the country. This means officials from all sectors need to save energy by using it in a cost efficient and effective way.

The leaders of the Ministry of Energy and Mines are discussing how they can help other state sectors to save energy use within their respective sectors.

Moreover, state agencies are also indebted to the Water Supply State Enterprise, amounting to about 200 billion kip, creating a financial burden for the company as it carries out its business.
In the meantime, the two enterprises have enforced their rules on householders. Those who do not pay the bills for three consecutive months will have their electricity cut off.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on July 29, 2014