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Govt to Rein in Spending

Lao government

The government cabinet has agreed to curb spending on receptions, meetings, visits to foreign countries, vehicles and expenditure on state investment projects, the government spokesman has said.

The decision was taken at the cabinet’s two-day monthly meeting which ended on Friday, Professor Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told a press conference shortly after the talks. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and attended by cabinet members.

The cabinet told the relevant departments to draw up a Prime Ministerial Order on frugality after learning that spending by some departments remained lavish.

In recent years, state departments have incorporated the National Policy on Frugality against Extravagance into their regulations but its implementation has varied among the different departments and has not been particularly effective, the meeting noted.

In some situations, spending on administration and investment by some departments had been lavish but with little result, Dr Chaleun told the media.

In a move to ensure more effective state spending with uniform implementation, the cabinet told the relevant departments to draw up a Prime Ministerial Order on frugality against extravagance. The final version of the order will be submitted to the Politburo for consideration.

The meeting adopted a report that concluded the implementation of the National Policy on Frugality against Extravagance over past years.

In addition, the cabinet endorsed a draft amendment to the Prime Ministerial Decree on Associations, which defines the principles, regulations and measures governing the establishment and operation of associations.

A draft Prime Ministerial Decree on the classification of small and medium enterprises was also tabled and approved by the meeting. The decree seeks to provide incentives to promote small and medium enterprises, Dr Chaleun said.

The meeting agreed in principle to approve a draft Prime Ministerial Decree on labour dispute solution. The relevant departments were asked to revise the draft in line with recommendations made by cabinet members.

The cabinet also agreed to ask the National Assembly to give the green light to the ratification of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

Prime Minister Thongloun told the cabinet to prepare for the first ordinary session of the National Assembly’s 8th Legislature which begins today and will see the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance and the Bank of the Lao PDR present reports.

Documents will include reports on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan and budget for 2015-16 and plans for 2017. The ministers were told to prepare to answer questions that Assembly members and the public were likely to raise during the session.

The Ministry of Finance was told to place more importance on revenue collection. The Ministry of Planning and Investment was asked to gather information on state investment projects whose debts had not been paid as well as projects proposed for financing so they could be reported to a meeting of the cabinet and provincial governors expected to take place in December.

The meeting also told the ministries responsible to investigate the cases of bird flu that had been reported in Luang Prabang province.

The prime minister told the meeting to keep a close eye on the prices of food and other goods in local markets to ensure prices were fair, and to carry out inspections to prevent the sale of contaminated food.

 

Source: Vientiane Times