The government’s monthly meeting has approved in principle three amended laws concerning investment promotion, media, and government, aiming to better serve the country’s development needs.However the August meeting instructed the relevant sectors to make further revisions based on recommendations from cabinet members before submitting the amendments for debate at the National Assembly later this year.
The amendments to the three laws took place in the wake of the country’s revenue shortfall over the past 10 months, to ensure that all laws facilitate government efforts to boost economic growth and generate more income for local people.
The two-day government meeting which ended on Friday was chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and attended by other cabinet members.
Concerning a new law related to special and specific economic zones, cabinet members were asked to give inputs and discuss the law at another meeting to be held between the PM and Deputy PM at a later date.
The government also approved a report regarding the implementation of the national socio-economic development plan, as well as the status of the financial and budgetary plans for this 2015-16 fiscal year, and discussed plans for 2017.
The government acknowledged that international circumstances had changed in complex ways that affected the development of Laos.
The national economy grew by 6.9 percent this year while per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) income is expected to reach US$2,026.
These figures are below the government’s target and much more needs to be done to sustain economic growth. According to the government’s report, the economy is projected to grow by 7-7.3 percent, lower than the rate of 7.5 percent annually set in the eighth five-year socio-economic development plan for 2016-20.
Meeting participants also discussed land use policy before asking the sectors responsible to refine it and make it more comprehensive and easier to implement. Those present expressed their sympathy for people affected by recent flooding and locust invasions in the northern provinces.
At the close of the meeting, Mr. Thongloun urged all government sectors to enhance their responsibility in fulfilling the two strategic tasks of national defence and development.
The most significant task in the coming days is to maintain security when Laos hosts the 28th and 29th Asean Summits in Vientiane from September 6-8.
The sectors responsible have been asked to calculate the cost of flood damage in various parts of the country and to bolster rehabilitation efforts to ensure the situation returns to normal as soon as possible.
Apart from repairing infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems, the Prime Minister urged the sectors involved to provide seeds for farmers so they can grow more crops to ensure food security throughout the country.
The Ministry of Education and Sports was asked to prepare for the opening of the new school year next month and to further improve the education system to meet the country’s development needs.
Source: Vientiane Times