The government approves a number of new draft and amended laws at its monthly meeting

Introduction: The government approved a number of new draft and amended laws at its monthly meeting, and these could be submitted to the National Assembly for debate at its next session in June or July.

Story: The one-day meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and attended by other cabinet members.

The laws approved by the government included draft laws relating to special economic zones and business competition as well as the draft of an amended law on education.

Concerning the draft laws on special economic zones, the meeting advised the relevant sector to amend some of the content based on recommendations from cabinet members. One of the most important recommendations was that the relevant sector needed to study and clearly define the structure and management of special and specific economic zones.

Secondly, the relevant sector needed to clearly formulate a stra tegic plan for the development of specific economic zones by defining appropriate and potential locations with a view to generating revenue for the nation.

Another important aspect was that specific economic zones should benefit the nation and not contravene the country’s approved legislation and international conventions that Laos is a party to.

The content of the draft law has been under consideration since 2012 and has benefited from inputs from relevant sectors in Vientiane and the provinces through a series of consultation meetings.

Officials are optimistic that, if passed, the law on specific economic zones will attract increasing numbers of foreign investors to Laos. Their presence in the country would boost infrastructure development, improve services and productivity, foster skill development, and accelerate the transfer of modern technology.

Concerning the draft law on business competition, cabinet members provided inputs while instructing the relevant sectors to hold more seminars to make the law more comprehensive.

In relation to the draft of the amended education law, cabinet members agreed that this law should be amended as it did not reflect today’s circumstances. The existing law, which was approved by the National Assembly in July 2007, comprises 12 parts and 79 articles. However, the draft amended law comprises 15 parts and 97 articles.

At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Thongsing asked cabinet members to pay more attention to social order and safety during Lao New Year known as Pi Mai Lao celebrations next month, to ensure that people uphold the country’s fine traditions and culture.

The government urged the relevant sector to actively push for revenue collection in line with the set plan while enforcing financial principles and bringing the law to bear against wrongdoers.

The government also advised the relevant sector to issue timely weather forecasts so that people could prepare for weather extremes and deal with the consequences.

The government also asked the agriculture sector to oversee dry-season rice production and prepare for the wet-season rice harvest.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on March 27, 2015