VIENTIANE—Lao government plans to spend over 1.3 trillion Lao kip (around 160 million U.S. dollars) on rural development and poverty reduction this year, an official has said.
Investment will be made on development activities and poverty reduction projects in 20 focal areas of the government, 71 focal areas of local governments, and 145 resettlement focal areas to improve the livelihoods of local people, Lao state-run news agency KPL on Monday quoted Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Phuangparisack Pavongviengkham as saying.
To ensure that investment of the government are the most effective and bring benefits to the greatest number of people, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has outlined a measure to pay close attention to all investment projects and representing project coordinators as well as the management of action plans.
The ministry will strictly inspect all investment projects based on Prime Minister’s instruction, particularly investment projects that have yet to receive approval from the National Assembly and future investment projects that could create debt for the government in the following year.
Phuangparisack has asked all sectors concerned from provincial and district levels to determine price units for the infrastructure construction in rural areas such as schools, hospitals, gravity-fed water systems, electric lines, roads and others. This will be done to ensure that the government is not being overcharged for new construction projects, reported KPL.
According to statistics by the Asian Development Bank, in 2014, as many as 23.2 percent of Lao population lived below the national poverty line.