Laos PM moves to crack down on reckless spending

Laos PM moves to crack down on reckless spending

Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has promised to take stricter measures for maintaining national economic growth and stability with a focus on harsher punishments for government organisations and businesses that breach financial regulations.

Thongsing made the promise yesterday in his address at the National Assembly (NA) session to explain the government's recent performanceon socio-economic management and outline a plan for addressing the issue in the remainder of the 2013-14 financial year.

"We are monitoring some groups of people who undertook projects but are yet to begin, or have only finished one third or only half, while they have already been paid because they have forged documents," Thongsing said.

"There will be harsher punishments for organisations and local authorities who commit these offences."

The prime minister was applauded by the audience, mostly made up of NA members, for taking a strong stance.

Thongsing made his speech to further the explanations already given by the Minister of Finance in answer to the queries of NA members about the government's revenue shortfall.

He also said a national reserve should be built up over the next five years but did not specify how much would be saved.

Thongsing said to ensure the national reserve was a success the government would be stricter on the rule of law, more disciplined about its budget and enforce laws on taxation and land.

In particular, there will be tougher enforcement of anti-corruption laws preventing budget leaks in common problem areas like tariff exemptions for imports and exports, especially of wood, and land tax.

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