Authorities in Attapeu Province cancelled a purchase order for new vehicles under the state budget on Wednesday last week following a stern warning from the PM.
According to a notice issued by the Attapeu Provincial Revolutionary Party Office, authorities have agreed to suspend the purchase of new vehicles.
The cancellation came after Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued a stern warning.
Some 30 new vehicles, including eight Toyota Prados, as well as 22 Toyota Fortuners, had initially been ordered for Attapue provincial officials.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith warned provincial leaders against purchasing new vehicles from the state budget on 12 February, saying it contravenes the government’s policy on austerity.
“Some provinces have issued orders for new cars, however, this should not be done unless absolutely necessary,” he was quoted as saying.
He warned that the state budget should be used only for essential requirements as Laos faces financial difficulties and rising public debt during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of state vehicles already exceeds 30,000 in number, and the growing number of vehicles on the road, including state vehicles, is causing traffic congestion.
Following his election to Prime Minister in 2016, PM Thongloun launched cost-cutting measures within Party and government, seeking to curb extravagance.
He famously reclaimed luxury vehicles from Party and government leaders for sale at auction, replacing them with more modest models.