Lao PDR Government approves electricity price hike

January 26, 2012

Vientiane Times

The government has approved an increase in the price of electricity in the wake of changes brought about by the evolving market economy.

The agreement was made at a government meeting held in Vientiane on January 23-24, chaired by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and cabinet members.

The price increase will take effect next month. The government did not give detailed information as to precisely by how much prices will rise, but said the increase would impact only slightly on ordinary people.

The government’s agreement is in line with the outcome of a meeting held recently in Vientiane between the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers.

This week’s government meeting also agreed in principle with the strategic plan to continue to develop special and specific economic zones (SEZ) in Laos between now and 2020, to accelerate national development.

The strategic plan stipulates he government’s vision, aim and policy to develop special and economic zones throughout the country to boost economic growth and enable Laos to better integrate its economy with the region and the world.

The government meeting also considered and gave in principle approval to development plans for highway connectivity for 2011-2015 and 2011-2020.

In addition, the Vientiane development master plan was approved, and the government is confident that the new urban development policy will attract more foreign investment and tourism, particularly to the capital.

The master plan aims to ensure that Vientiane develops into a more liveable town, as well as a commercial and business centre, not only for Laos but for the region as a whole.

The government also agreed in principle with a new decree that stipulates the requirements for teachers to become civil servants, which is designed to motivate teachers to be more dedicated in their work.

The new decree will create incentives for teachers, including raising their salaries and elevating the role of teachers in society, to produce better quality teachers and raise the standard of education.

The meeting also considered and gave in principle approval to the new national policy relating to childbirth and free treatment of children under five, which was presented by the Ministry of Health.

As a first step towards implementing the policy, the government will issue a decree to facilitate the implementation of a pilot project by focusing on rural and remote areas.

In addition, the government approved a decree for the management and use of the Internet in Laos, which was presented by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. The decree stipulates principles and measures for the management and use of the Internet while introducing better services.

However, the government has advised the relevant sectors to clarify some sections of the decrees and policies, to make clear their exact meaning, intent and objectives.

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