August 11, 2016

Lao President Gives New Instructions

By:  Somxay Sengdara, Vientiane Times, April 30, 2016

President Bounnhang Vorachit has instructed the new government to crack down on violations of financial discipline and other undesirable forms of conduct, and improve the management of crop harvests and the use of natural resources.

Mr Bounnhang, who is also Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, highlighted these points yesterday when addressing the government's inaugural meeting at the Prime Minister's Office.

The new government, led by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, was approved by the National Assembly at its inaugural session on April 20, which also approved the eighth five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan.

“The government needs to urgently implement the national socio-economic development plan, which should ensure the prevention of and address undesirable conduct at central and local levels of government. In particular, attention must be paid to financial discipline at the deepest levels, the lack of which has caused the growing risk of a crisis,” Mr Bounnhang said.

He also stressed that the government should take serious steps to regulate all businesses by enforcing the rules on account holders, modernising revenue collection and curbing expenditure.

“This is the key task that the government has to address urgently. By doing so, we can strengthen national finances and the budget and restrict the abuse of power and corruption, which damage the role and influence of the Party,” President Bounnhang said.

Referring to undesirable conduct, he cited drug dealing and abuse, crime, road accidents, human trafficking, and the migration of Lao workers to other countries. He called on the government to investigate these issues, draw up plans, and use effective measures to curb them.

Regarding the use of natural resources, Mr Bounnhang reminded government members that people were seriously concerned about fluctuating crop yields and the sale of their produce. He said the government needed to ensure that the nation's resources were efficiently utilised.

“ The government needs to have a clear plan concerning the use of resources, ensuring that value is added to produce so that people and the nation benefit from harvests,” he said.

Video Credit:  Vientiane Times via Youtube, posted on May 2, 2016.

“In the coming years, we absolutely have to stop exporting timber,” he added.

He also s tressed the need to create policies to facilitate investment by the private sector in remote and rural areas.

Referring to the current situation, the President said Laos was going through a transition period with a change in the content and style of leadership by the Party Central Committee in overseeing the work of government agencies.

He asked the government to consider all issues carefully when making improvements to the government structure at the central and local levels.

Mr Bounnhang called on all government members, of whom most are members of the Party Central Committee, in their capacity as managers to be good models for ch ange.

He advised them to continuously improve themselves, make breakthroug hs in their area of work, be aware of organisational discipline and political and work responsibilities, and to be stricter in addressing undesirable conduct.

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