Illegal logging remains a serious problem in Laos, even though the government has banned timber exports for the past fifteen years, allowing only exports of processed woods. However, the Lao government also allows itself an exception whenever it is faced with budget shortfalls.
Laos Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh says for the fiscal year 2005-06, the government has allowed a concession of 300,000 cubic meters of timber to be cut, 30,000 cubic meters to be divided among the provinces while the rest is allowed for logging in the Nam Theun 2 Dam construction area.
The objective is to raise fund to cover budgetary shortfalls, but so far that objective has not been met.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.