The government is intending to subsidise village administrations under a new policy requiring initial implementation in the 109 villages, which fall under the Sam Sang or Three Builds pilot project.

The government plan was revealed at a meeting, which began in Vientiane on Tuesday the 1st of October to disseminate Resolution No. 8 of the Politburo, a Prime Ministerial Decision on the improvement of administrative structure at the village level, and the payment of living allowances to civil servants at the grassroots level.

Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit presided over the meeting. Participants include core officials from line ministries, government bodies and agencies, provincial and district governors, and directors of departments involved in the Sam Sang project. Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is a Politburo member and Head of the Guiding Committee of the Sam Sang Pilot Project, told the meeting the Sam Sang project was improving in quality, while calling on the authorities involved to actively implement the scheme so that it achieves its goals.

The new policy will replace the former resolution of the Central Party Secretariat dated December 4, 2007. Village heads and supporting staff have been working in administrative positions without receiving any payment.

The new resolution states that the payment of living allowances should be a factor in building up the enthusiasm and competency of village staff, and is in line with changes in the economy, livelihoods and living costs, while also approximating the basic salary paid to civil servants.

For village leaders the resolution defines the criteria for being appointed a village head as being that he or she should have leadership in a certain community, while also acting as chief executive officer, a civil servant at that level, and village developer.

The Politburo formulated the resolution to spur adherence to its Resolution No. 3 on the building of provinces as strategic units, districts as comprehensively strengthened units, and villages as development units.

Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit called on officials to study and understand the new resolution and begin its implementation in the 109 villages from the start of this financial year. This is to be followed by expansion into other main villages next year and to all villages throughout the country in the 2015-2016 financial year. He said the living allowances will be paid and improvements made to the political system and administration at grassroots level with a focus on the Sam Sang villages and conforming to state budget capability.

On Wednesday the 2nd of October, the meeting also discussed the devolution between provincial and district administrations regarding financial management, living allowances, bonuses and other benefits for village leaders and staff, along with investment projects at district and village levels and their management mechanisms.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English