The government instructs relevant sectors to interpret various policies into practical

Introduction: The government has instructed relevant sectors to interpret various policies into practical stimulus measures that can be fully implemented to boost greater production and drive growth for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

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Story: Deputy Spokeswoman of the Government, Phetsakhone Luang-Aphay told a press conference on Thursday that, the meeting has asked the relevant sectors to interpret these policies into practical measures so that the policies can be implemented. The instruction was made as a result of the three-day meeting between the government cabinet, Vientiane mayor, and provincial governors. He said, the government vowed to take urgent action to address the current challenges, notably the budget deficit, chronic debts and timber related issues amongst other things.

Presided over by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, the government meeting held in Vientiane was also attended by representatives from the National Assembly, Lao Front for National Construction and other state organisations.

The meeting gave advice on policies in promoting production based on market demand, tax incentives, bank loans as well as policies on labour, crop seeds and marketing.

The meeting noted that the current budget tensions and chromic debts are mainly caused by the fact that state investment in recent years has been huge and spending has been large, while revenue sources were limited.

Other contributing factors to the budget tension included ineffective management and administration of state organisations at each level along with breaching financial disciplines and violations of the law by both the state and private sectors.

During a presentation about the Prime Ministerial Decree on the implementation of the 2014-15 socio-economic development plan, the meeting asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to prioritise state investment projects in accordance with financial capacity.

The meeting instructed the relevant ministries to speed up work in evaluating mines, as well as rubber and eucalyptus plantation projects, aiming for all evaluation work to be completed by 2015 as planned.

The government suspended consideration and approval for new mines, rubber and eucalyptus plantations a few years ago after learning that several investors have not followed the agreements including not taking action to carry out the projects after gaining approval from the Lao government.

While evaluation is under way, the government has threatened to revoke agreements for those engaged in serious breaches of the agreements.

During the meeting, participants reviewed the progress Laos has made in preparing for Asean integration as the 10-member regional bloc is set to establish the Asean Economic Community by the end of 2015.

Evaluation for the implementation of the 2013-2014 socio-economic development plan, budget and currency plans, and plans for the next fiscal year were also tabled.

Economic growth for the 2013-2014 fiscal year is estimated to reach 7.5 percent, but the figure is not clear yet as all data will take a few months to collate.

Additionally, the amendment to the Prime Ministerial Decree on economical spending practices which discourages lavish lifestyles was also discussed.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on September 26, 2014