Currency control measures being moderately implemented: Lao PM

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The management of the Lao currency is being moderately implemented across the country and it is stable as the rate of inflation stands at 1.5 per cent. 

However, the National Assembly (NA) has given the government the task of bringing the currency exchange rate below 5 percent by the end of this year.

This message was delivered by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith last week while responding to a question raised by members of parliament at the ongoing 7th ordinary session of the NA.

The premier told NA members that money supply (M2) stands at 9 percent and the Parliament has approved that it should be lower than 20 percent at the end of this year.

In addition, the comparison for the exchange rate for the Lao kip to the US dollar was dwindling at 0.4 percent, while the Lao kip to the Thai baht was at 3.4 percent, when compared to last year’s performance.

According to the NA’s approval, the currency exchange rate should not be more than 5 percent. The differences in the currency exchange rate between commercial banks and the markets for the Lao kip to the US dollar stands at 1.7 percent, and the Lao kip to the Thai baht stands at 0.4 percent.

The government has given policy mandates to achieve stable rise in the gross domestic product (GDP), to maintain low rates of unemployment, and to maintain foreign exchange and inflation rates within a predictable range.

The NA’s session will continue until June 25 to debate the government’s reports on different issues, especially the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in the first quarter of this year and the plan for the entire year.

The government will also respond to questions raised by parliamentarians regarding the implementation of various economic development plans.

In addition, future plans for improving the business environment, including several measures to boost business and investment, are also on the agenda at the ongoing session.

More than a week ago, the NA session debated ways to address economic issues, and expressed concern about the nation’s mounting debts, revenue shortfall, falling foreign currency reserves and the economic slowdown.

At the same time, a number of NA members called on the government to do more to address issues affecting the livelihood of the people and poverty alleviation schemes.

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