Govt Vows To Retrieve Billions Lost To Misuse, Illegal Imports

Source: Vientiane Times

The government has entrusted authorities in charge to carry out inspections into 45.53 million litres of oil that was imported for a state investment project but was never actually used for that project.
The move is part of measures adopted by the ongoing 4th ordinary session of the National Assembly’s 8th Legislature.

The measures spell ways to address issues uncovered by the Government Inspection Authorities (GIA) during 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal year inspections – the inspection of the audit for 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal year plans.

Presenting the inspection report to the National Assembly, Head of the GIA Dr Bounthong Chitmany told Assembly members that billions of kip had been lost to as yet undiscovered activities.

Government spokesman Prof. Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told local media last week that the cabinet, at its monthly meeting for October, had assigned all the relevant bodies to implement the measures.
The measures drawn up by the GIA were adopted by parliament, he said.

The 45.53 million litres of oil, enjoying tariff and tax exemptions, was purportedly imported for use in construction of the Kasy-Meuangnan road but was not actually used for that purpose.

The cabinet entrusted the GIA to carry out further inspections to track down the parties responsible.
The parties involved were required to pay taxes and tariffs amounting to more than 77.1 billion kip (US$9.28 million) to the government, according to the adopted measures.

Regarding the finding of a number of vehicles purposely imported for use in state investment projects that enjoyed tax and tariff exemptions, but were used for other purposes, the cabinet assigned the Ministry of Finance to take measures forcing the importing companies to pay taxes and tariffs amounting to more than 14 billion kip.

Inspectors discovered that 179.64 billion kip had been paid to completed state investment projects but the project developers did not record this as being paid in their accounts, so the cabinet told the Ministry of Planning and Investment to recheck it and register it as paid.

Dr Bounthong’s report suggested that many state investment projects were reported as fully completed, but in fact they were not, with unfinished work amounting to billions of dollars.

In this regard, the cabinet told the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with the relevant bodies to retrieve the cost of the unfinished work.

Additionally, the money allocated as reserves and payment for consulting companies on some projects, and which was not used, must also be retrieved.

The cabinet prohibited all central and local state organisations from using budget allocated for debt payment in 2017 and 2018, and instead to pay off debts accumulated by unapproved projects carried out since 2013.

State departments that had carried out unapproved projects in 2013 and subsequently had violated an NA resolution. Those who had violated the resolution must take responsibility for the debts they had created, Dr Chaleun said.

 

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