VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The government has instructed the relevant agencies to tackle the challenges facing Laos and work more actively to revitalise the economy amid spiralling inflation.
The instruction was issued during the monthly cabinet meeting which wrapped up on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone and attended by deputy prime ministers and other cabinet members.
Prime Minister Sonexay asked the sectors concerned to identify effective ways to address the vulnerability of the macro-economy alongside efforts to improve people’s standard of living.
Year-on-year inflation in Laos jumped to 40.3% in January, the highest rate in 23 years, according to the latest report from the Lao Statistics Bureau.
Cabinet members agreed to create new sources of income, modernise revenue collection and plug loopholes that cause financial leaks, government spokesperson Thipphakone Chanthavongsa told a press conference after the close of the meeting.
The government’s greatest focus will be on stabilising currency exchange rates and regulating the price of goods on sale in markets.
In addition, the government will build up its foreign currency reserves and promote greater use of the kip, as well as encourage producers to grow more crops for export.
Thipphakone said the government will also source more funds to repay its debts, reaffirming that it will never allow the country to default on its debt payments.
During the meeting, cabinet members also agreed to improve services and develop infrastructure, particularly building access roads to tourist attractions to accommodate the expected influx of visitors.
The government pledged to work in partnership with the private sector to improve tourist attractions and upgrade train services, with a view to more efficient passenger and freight transport.
Thipphakone said the government will speed up improvement of the investment climate and push for the implementation of investment projects approved by the government.
Another important issue on the agenda was the standard of job skills, with the government keen to improve the quality of the workforce to meet the needs of today’s employers.
The government’s monthly meeting endorsed five important documents to serve as guidelines for relevant agencies in meeting the development goals set by the government.
The first document was a report on the notable achievements made by the government in January and plans for February.
The second one was a decree on a vocational development fund while the third was a resolution on the development of high quality human resources in response to the needs of modern-day national development.
The fourth was a decree on fines and other penalties with regard to offences relating to standardisation and measurement regulations. The fifth was a decree on duty free goods and stores.