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NA’s extraordinary session opens for national agenda debate

The first extraordinary session of the National Assembly (NA)’s ninth legislature kicked off on Thursday to debate measures to address financial and economic difficulties and suppress the use of narcotic drugs.
It comes after the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee in March this year resolved to identify solutions to tackle financial and economic difficulties and the problems surrounding drug abuse, classifying them as national agendas for urgent consideration.

NA President Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane delivered the opening remarks and then gave the floor for debate of the two national agendas.
Presenting drafts of the national agendas to the NA, Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh said the government had set a target to implement the national agendas within two and a half years or by the end of 2023.
“Then, we will evaluate the implementation (of the agendas) and outline future directions,” PM Phankham said. Also present at the opening session were President Thongloun Sisoulith and government cabinet members.
The premier pledged that the government would be decisive, transparent and professional in implementing the agendas and addressing the said issues.
He explained that decision-making bodies and law enforcement agencies must be decisive when addressing the issues and strictly enforce the relevant measures.
Importantly, action to implement the national agendas, including the adoption of relevant measures, must be transparent.
“People can be involved in the implementation process, follow up and monitor the progress made,” PM Phankham said.
“Transparency reflects the loyalty and sincerity of the government and the relevant sectors.”
The head of government outlined five core actions to address financial and economic difficulties as follows:
Promote production to reduce imports and boost exports to trengthen revenue collection
Promote frugality, prevent extravagance, and ensure efficient state investment and spending along with efficient payment of domestic and foreign debts
Stabilise the kip
Increase efficiency of the rule of law
In addition, six core actions have been named to address drug abuse and trade as follows:
Raise public awareness of the dangers of the drugs along with disseminating the Party and state’s guidelines and policies
Formulate and amend laws as well as regulations concerning narcotic drugs
Improve organisational structure and upgrade the capability of law enforcement agencies
Increase effectiveness of implementation management and supervision
Improve capability in identifying solutions to the drug issue
Increase international cooperation.
Financial and economic difficulties and the drug problem have become increasingly challenging in recent years.
In light of these issues, the Party and government regard solutions to tackle these problems as “a corrective duty, obligation and responsibility of the whole of society,” the premier said.  The government is also scheduled to present draft amendments to five laws to the NA for debate and approval, which will support the implementation of the national agendas.
Amendments have been made to laws on tax, value added tax, income tax, excise tax, and drugs.
During the NA session, lawmakers will hear the government’s report on the Covid-19 outbreak and measures imposed by the government to curb the spread of the virus and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Dr Xaysomphone called for all lawmakers to exert full responsibility for proper debate and consideration in order to shape the comprehensive content of all documents presented.


By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
August 6,

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