Laos’ National Assembly (NA) President says government performances during the first half of the 2008-2009 fiscal year have not gone as planned and failed to achieve many set goals. Meanwhile, Laos’ Prime Minister admits that economic growth will be slower this year.
In his speech at the opening ceremony of the 7th Ordinary Session of the Sixth Legislature on June 22, Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, President of the Lao National Assembly, especially stressed that the administration and implementation of the annual socio-economic plan for the first half of the 2008-2009 fiscal year, which ran from October 2008 to March 2009, did not achieve set goals in many fields.
Specifically, revenues collections needed for the national budget fell short of the goal set in the annual plan, mainly due to drops in the prices of Lao products and continuous decreases in the country’s exports, while the unemployment rate continues to significantly increase.
In addition, the political administration and governance at grassroots levels have been ineffective.And this has caused a direct impact on the development that aims to reduce the poverty of the people in rural areas of the country, Mr. Thongsing added.
He maintained that if the above mentioned problems are not solved in the near future, it will definitely have a negative effect on the government’s development plan and goal, as well as the leadership of the Lao People Revolutionary Party and the government.
Meantime, Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh admitted that his government’s administration and implementation of the socio-economic plan face obstacles in several aspects.However, his government will definitely not cut the budget set forth in the plan since doing so will affect the implementation of the plan and many different development projects that benefit the country and the multiethnic Lao people as a whole.
Regarding the economic development during the 2008-2009 fiscal year which will end in September, Mr. Bouasone admitted that Laos’ economic growth rate will be no more than 7.1%, with the projected annual Gross Domestic Products or DGP averages out to a per capita income of US$922, while the agricultural sector growth rate will be 3.1%; the industrial sector will increase no more than 12.5%, and the service sector 7.7%.These growth rates are far lower than those previously projected in the annual socio-economic plan.
Songrit Pongern reported from Bangkok on June 25, 2009. Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao, or read our Lao text. (English translation by Buasawan Simmala and Dara Baccam.)