Railway infrastructure plans in Laos.. All aboard.

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by Moto-Rex, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Thanks for sharing Rex. Seems pretty spot on to what I have read in Bkk post, the nation etc.

    Had you down as more of a play boy reader ;)
    These melbournites are high brow.

  2. I've enjoyed many economic and political discussions with Professor Rex; facilitated with massive quantities of beer :)
  3. China and Vietnam are tearing up Laos, bit by bit. It's really quite sad. The economic benefits will accrue to outsiders.
  4. A couple of interesting news items..

    Financial crisis’: Laos stops payment for public projects


    by Arno Maierbrugger on September 16, 2013

    Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong said during a special government meeting in Vientiane on September 13 that Laos was running a "high debt level" and was at the brink of a "financial crisis" unless all government agencies closely control all aspects of investment and "sharpen their focus" during the upcoming 2013-14 fiscal year.

    Thongsing made the statement at the close of a national meeting in Vientiane to discuss the 2013-2014 socio-economic development plan.

    The country’s debt now stands at 29.8 per cent of GDP. Thongsing said the government would delay paying money owed to contractors carrying out public projects. This would take the strain off the country’s financial and currency concerns. Meanwhile, the finance sector should "rigorously collect" all sources of revenue owed to the government, he added. Salary payments to civil servants have also been delayed.

    “Any projects that have not been approved by the National Assembly, as well as those where the government owes money to private contractors, will not be allowed to continue,” the prime minister said. However, it would be "acceptable" for these projects to obtain funding from sources other than the government, he said.

    Thongsing also requested that no new government projects be initiated in the 2013-14 fiscal year. This would include the construction of new offices and projects that do not directly contribute to productivity. The government will also not consider payments to projects authorised after 2011.


    Lao govt delays salary payment as it faces revenue shortfall


    Publication Date : 13-09-2013

    Government revenue collection has fallen short of the target and left state employees frantically checking their bank balances this month after salary payments were delayed by weeks.

    Director General of the Ministry of Finance's Budget Department, Saisamone Xaysoulien, told Vientiane Times the late payment was related to a shortfall in revenue collection.

    He also admitted it was difficult to pay employees and deal with other aspects of government expenditure when revenue targets were not met.

    The situation is likely to become even more difficult next month because the new fiscal year brings in an almost 40 per cent increase in state employee salaries.

    Saisamone said cabinet members, provincial governors and the Vientiane Mayor will meet in the capital next week, when ensuring revenue targets can be met will be a priority topic of discussion.

    Government officials say it is necessary to tighten fiscal policies and steps must be taken to penalise those who violate laws and avoid paying their dues.

    According to a report from the Ministry of Finance, just 78.38 per cent of the target figure of 19,500 billion Lao kip (US$2.4 billion) was collected in the first 11 months of this fiscal year.

    Global economic uncertainty leading to a decline in mining product revenue affected the country's total collection as its income is heavily reliant on the export of natural resources.

    The government's revenue collection target this fiscal year was 25.17 per cent higher than last year's and the budget was aiming for a deficit of about 5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

    Currently the budget deficit is sitting higher than 5 per cent and economists are warning expenditure must be used wisely to avoid a financial crisis.

    Over the past 11 months, the government has used overseas loans and issued short-term bonds to mobilise 3,694 billion Lao kip ($470 million) in an effort to balance the budget deficit.

    According to the Ministry of Finance, almost 700 billion Lao kip ($89 million) is spent each month on salaries and supporting allowances for state employees.

    Once salaries are raised next month the government will have to find an additional 2,000 billion Lao kip ($254 million) in the 2013-14 fiscal year to pay its employees.

    The government has set revenue targets of at least 25,047 billion Lao kip ($3.1 billion) next fiscal year, representing 27.63 percent of GDP.

    Budget expenditure has been limited to 29,580 bi llion Lao kip ($3.7 billion) or 32.63 percent of GDP.

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