Lao deputy PM calls for end to social ills

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Efforts to stamp out destructive behaviour such as drug abuse, theft, the spread of fake news on social media, illegal trade and other such issues must be stepped up, Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone told authorities when visiting Phongsaly province.

Dr Sonexay stressed the suppression of harmful activities during his visit to the province on November 8.

He also advised authorities to improve services and promote tourism and investment more effectively to help strengthen the nation’s socio-economic growth, especially among businesses in Phongsaly province. 

Dr Sonexay encouraged authorities to make it easier for businesses to access financing and markets.

He instructed authorities in charge to continue to promote and make use of the province’s potential for economic development and the production of commodities such as tea and cardamom.

He said intensive cultivation of dry season crops would compensate for the damage caused by recent flooding.

The distribution of rice seeds and other essentials to people who had been displaced by the floods must be accelerated so they could make a living, Dr Sonexay added.

The deputy prime minister also heard a report on the province’s socio-economic development during 2018.

Authorities in charge said development had progressed steadily. Basic infrastructure had been improved and 61 percent of households now had access to better roads and 84 percent of people had access to clean water.

The literacy rate in the 15-30 age group was 98 percent and 51 percent of people had access to hygienic facilities and sanitation. About 16 percent of households in the province were now part of “development” villages, while the number of households classified as poor stood at 70 percent. 



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