The Government of Laos has made addressing air pollution a key priority, with a recent cabinet meeting exploring solutions to the issue, which is impacting people’s health and the country’s socioeconomic development.
The monthly cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, was held from 28-29 March, and discussed various issues ranging from national defense and foreign affairs to forest fires and air pollution.
Government Spokesperson, Ms. Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, told the media that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is to work with the defense and public security ministries and local authorities in patrolling forests and monitoring slash-and-burn agricultural activities.
During the meeting, the government directed relevant ministries and local government agencies to focus on solving pressing issues related to the economy, investment, tourism, social problems, and dealing with negative comments on social media.
The government agreed in principle to approve a draft strategic plan to facilitate the country’s graduation from the UN’s list of least developed countries (LDCs), as well as adopting a draft credit and loans policy.
A draft law on land tax was approved, as well as a law on governance, with relevant ministries directed to improve the content of the draft plans and policies based on comments from government members.
The meeting also discussed a draft decree on granting Lao citizenship and a draft decree on civil servants and teachers, with plans to improve these based on comments from government members.
Furthermore, the government considered adopting a 10-year mineral development strategy, directing the Ministry of Energy and Mines to improve the content according to comments made during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the cabinet resolved to address various other tasks, such as preventing social ills, managing the economy, revenue collection, and foreign debt. The government is also urged to improve education and address labor shortages.
Additionally, the government is preparing for the Lao New Year celebrations and the full opening of the Laos-China Railway, which will allow passenger trains to embark on cross-border travel between Laos and China.
The government also emphasized monitoring emerging situations in the region and internationally, preparing for high-level foreign meetings, and promoting the culture and customs of Laos.