Laos: National Assembly to debate new and amended laws

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The National Assembly will debate nine newly drafted laws and amend seven existing laws at its upcoming fourth ordinary session, which will open on Monday.

NA Secretary General Ms Suansavanh Vignaket announced the agenda yesterday.

The session will run for 20 days excluding Saturdays and Sundays and will end on November 17.

The newly drafted laws submitted for debate relate to the economic, financial, socio-cultural, governance and justice sectors.

Laws proposed for enactment in the economic sector comprise the Law on Protection of Impacts from Goods Import, Law on Meteorology and Hydrology, and the Law on Technology Transfer.

The Law on Public Debt Management, Law on Payment System, and Law on Public Funded Procurement are new laws governing the finance sector that have been submitted to the Assembly for consideration and approval.

In the socio-cultural sector, the NA will debate the Law on Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, Law on Lao Red Cross, and Law on Judges.

National Assembly members will also debate draft amendments to the Law on Urban Planning, Law on Minerals, Law on Intellectual Property, Law on Criminal Procedure, Law on Nationality, Law on Trade Union, and Law on State Inspection.

The enactment of the Law on Public Debt Management is evidence of the government’s attempts to build legal tools to tackle public debt, which has risen to levels that have created budget tensions for many years.

The government is also taking tough action to control payments and procurements that use state money, especially those that relate to the unregulated use of state resources.

The government is also aiming to enforce measures to regulate the import of goods that impact domestic manufacturers and consumers.

The Law on Meteorology and Hydrology is viewed as an essential legal tool for any state in these times of climate change. It will define the role and obligations of meteorology and hydrology information service providers, and the obligations of the developers of projects related to climate and water.

Properly qualified judges are seen as crucial for court decisions and verdicts, ensuring fairness for litigants. The new Law on Judges is expected to improve the current situation in this regard.

As is traditional, the upcoming National Assembly session will first review the work of the government.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will brief the session on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan, budget, and monetary plans for 2017 and the plans for next year immediately after the opening ceremony. The ministers in charge of these plans will present full reports.

Those present will hear a report on the achievements of the tourism sector over the past year and the plan for 2018. The State Audit Organisation will report on its activities over the past year and its plan for next year, and there will be a final report on the implementation of the state budget in 2015-16.

The Government Inspection Authority will present a report on the results of its audits conducted in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor and People’s Supreme Court will report on their recent work and the plan for next year, while the Ministry of Justice will report on court verdicts in the past year. The Lao Front for National Construction will represent mass organisations in delivering comments on the Assembly’s performance over the past year and its plan for the upcoming year.

The session welcomes public opinions through its toll free hotline 156, fax: 021 413528, P.O. Box: 662, and email: na_session@na.gov.la.          

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