Economic Issues Top Cabinet, Provincial Governors Meeting Agenda

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A meeting between the government cabinet, Vientiane Mayor and provincial governors kicked off yesterday in Vientiane to debate measures to realise the 2017 socio-economic development plan.

The two-day meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, also reviewed achievements made in implementing the socio-economic development plan, budget plan and currency plan over the past year.

The discussion came after the National Assembly (NA) approved the government’s proposal last month to revise the 2017 socio-economic development plan to reflect a lower economic growth target of 7 percent, a decrease from the originally expected 7.5 percent.

To pursue the target, yesterday’s meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office discussed a Prime Ministerial Order on the 2017 Socio-economic Development Plan, budget plan and currency plan.

According to the 2017 plan presented at last month’s NA ordinary session, the government expects to collect revenue of 23,801 billion kip and spend not more than 32,262 billion kip to secure the growth target.

Next year, the target is set to ensure that deposits by the commercial banks reach 57 percent of the country’s GDP. As of July 2016, commercial banks have recorded deposits totaling more than 59,616 billion kip, representing 54.8 percent of GDP, an increase of 5,692 billion kip compared to the same period last year, according to the currency plan presented at the NA.

Yesterday’s meeting also heard a report of the four-year currency plan for 2017-2020, which is set to increase deposits at commercial banks to 84 percent of GDP by 2020, up from the 57 percent expected in 2016.

The participants also heard a report that summarised debt accumulated under state investment projects.

Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs is scheduled to report on ways to improve coordinated mechanisms between the Prime Minister’s Office, ministries, other state organisations and local authorities.

The Ministry of Finance will also report on a draft presidential ordinance on road fees. The Ministry of Justice is set to present a report that evaluates the formulations and amendments to the laws and regulations of various departments as well as the enforcement situation in relation to laws and regulations over the past years and plans for the future.

A report to review the performances of the government cabinet since it has taken office in April will also be presented.

Prime Minister Thongloun told the NA last month that reshuffles in state departments with their redefined mandates have been made following the assumption in office of the new cabinet. The move aims to ensure those ministries and departments whose responsibilities previously overlapped no longer have such problems.

The government has also issued at least 12 Prime Ministerial Decrees, and another 11 Prime Ministerial Orders and a number of regulations in efforts to further a society governed by the rule of law.

In addition, many laws were newly drawn up and amended, which were passed by the recent NA’s ordinary session.

The PM highlighted that the government has also addressed some hot issues such as solving the failed administration of Electricite Du Laos (EDL).

Several hot issues have been addressed, including taking tougher action to manage wood processing plants and businesses, a prohibition on the export of unfinished wooden products and a cessation of the granting of an annual logging quota in an attempt to end illegal logging.

The crackdown has resulted in the fact that 28 wood processing factories located near and inside forest areas along with another 1,154 family-unit furniture plants across the country were ordered to shut down their illegal operations, amongst other issues.

Source: Vientiane Times

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