Members of the National Assembly and People’s Provincial Assemblies have asked the government to reassess the structure of fuel pricing.
The Second Ordinary Session of the National Assembly’s Ninth Legislature took place in Vientiane Capital last week, where members of the National Assembly expressed their views on a variety of topics, including the problem of rising fuel prices.
Members of the National Assembly debated the issue, saying the government should address the high cost of fuel by making changes to the fuel pricing structure.
The government of Laos has announced several increases in fuel prices this year, directly impacting the socio-economic development of the nation as well as the well-being of its residents.
Fuel is among a number of commodities regulated by the government, with prices having increased seventeen times already this year, while the Lao kip continues to depreciate.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Bounchom Ubonpaseuth told the National Assembly that the government has lost up to up to LAK 2 trillion in revenue from fuel imports due to misrecorded transactions and corruption, according to Lao Phattana.
The type or the value of fuels have been found to be deliberately misrecorded by importers hoping to avoid taxes, resulting in huge losses to the state budget.
“The Ministry of Finance has conducted investigations into the import of fuel from Thailand and Vietnam, discovering an imbalance taxes, as well as some 200 million liters of fuel unaccounted for,” said Minister Bounchom.
He said that customs officials are to be retrained, with measures put in place to ensure corruption is stamped out.
According to Minister Bounchom, fuel importers had found loopholes to avoid paying taxes, while accounting firms in Laos lack the capacity to conduct proper audits.
The country has been hit by intermittent fuel shortages this year as trucks delivering imported fuel make the trip from Thailand only twice per month, while importers and retailers suffer from the depreciation of the Lao kip.
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