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NA Session Ends after Approving Laws, Financial Targets

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The National Assembly (NA) has approved a GDP target of 600 trillion kip over the next four years, also setting the average economic growth rate at 7.2 percent a year, and average GDP per capita at US$2,978 by the end of 2020.

The targets were set during the Assembly’s second ordinary session of the Eighth Legislature, which ended on Friday, with other issues of national importance also approved during the past 20 days of debate.

The government is aiming for 7 percent economic growth next year and in 2018, with 7.3 percent in 2019, and 7.5 percent in 2020. To achieve this, funding of 173 trillion kip (about US$21.4 billion) amounting to 29 percent of GDP will be required.

The NA agreed with the government’s goal to collect 111.6 trillion kip in state revenue over the next four years, with expenditure set at 137 trillion kip, and the average budget deficit not to exceed 4.39 percent of GDP.

Assembly members also debated the progress of the National Socio-Economic Development Plan and state budget for 2015-16, and plans for 2017.

The session approved a report on the resolution on audit results for 2013-14, the audit of the budget for the 2014-15 financial year, a report on the audit plan for the budget in 2015-16, and the audit plan for next year.

The session praised the State Audit Organisation (SAO) and the State Inspection Authority (SIA) for ensuring that the audit for 2013-14 was presented to the National Assembly in good time.

The session entrusted the SIA to continue to encourage inspections of budgetary units over violations of financial discipline.

The Assembly asked the SAO to investigate the common causes of violations by budgetary units and to further examine the operations of mega investment projects and rural development and poverty reduction projects to ensure they are effective and efficient.

The Assembly approved a report on its oversight of decrees and orders issued by the government, and a report on the results of an inspection into the use of chemicals considered harmful to crops and human health. The body also advised the government to more closely regulate the use of potentially dangerous substances, and build public awareness of the dangers.

The NA approved reports on the work of the Office of the Supreme Public Prosecutor and Supreme People’s Court over the past five years, their next-five year plans, and plans for 2017.

Sixteen newly drafted laws and draft amendments to promulgated laws were approved during the session, which began on October 24.

The newly drafted laws that have been approved are the Law on Information and Communication Technology, Law on Management of Chemical Substances, and Law on Special Economic Zones.

The draft amendments relate to the Law on Public Roads, Media Law, Law on Government, Law on Handling Petitions, Law on Defence Lawyers, Law on Investment Promotion, Law on Audit, Law on Livestock and Veterinary, Law on Plant Protection, Law on National Assembly, Law on Provincial People’s Councils, and the Law on Oversight by the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Councils .

A draft of the Criminal Code was also submitted to Assembly members to sound out their opinion.

In her closing remarks, NA President Ms Pany Yathotou praised the achievements of the government in following the National Socio-economic Development Plan over the past 10 months, especially in terms of revenue collection and improvements to administrative structure.

The session also asked the government to pursue the path to building a state governed by the rule of law, to ensure better economic management.

During the session, representatives from nine ministries and ministry-equivalent agencies responded to queries raised by NA members and addressed public complaints concerning issues under these bodies’ responsibility. These issues related to economic, financial, social and environmental concerns.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told Assembly members about additional policies and essential measures to address economic and financial difficulties, improve the investment climate, boost commercial production, improve the government structure, and rein in financial violation by budgetary units.

President Bounnhang Vorachit, other Party and government leaders, and former leaders attended the closing ceremony.

 

Source: Vientiane Times