Source: Vientiane Times
The government has agreed to increase the monthly minimum wage from the present 1.2 million kip to 1.3 million kip, with the rise to come into effect on May 1 to mark International Labour Day.
The wage hike is aimed at easing the hardships suffered by many Lao people amid the skyrocketing cost of living and economic uncertainty.
Chairing the cabinet’s monthly meeting on April 25-26, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone instructed the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to partner with the sectors concerned in observing how the pay rise matched the reality of the prevailing economic circumstances.
The instruction was issued in response to a proposal made by the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (which represents workers) last year, asking for the minimum wage to be increased to 1.5 million kip a month to counter rampant inflation.
But the request was rejected by the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (representing the business sector), which said an increase of this amount would have a negative impact on businesses.
The prime minister ordered an in-depth study regarding the pay rise, with the findings to be reported to the government in the third quarter of this year.
The government’s monthly meeting also adopted nine other important strategies of significance for national development.
The first will focus on implementing the government’s priority programmes, notably measures to boost national revenue, curb inflation, and prevent wildfires due to agricultural burning.
The sectors responsible were told to raise public awareness of forest fires and the consequences of burning agricultural land for crop planting, which often causes widespread wildfires.
The second document concerns the outcome of the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in the first quarter of this year.
The government ordered the sectors involved to regulate product prices at markets and normalise currency exchange rates by studying detailed price structures and formulating effective measures to address these issues.
The third document relates to a decree on the formulation of the State budget plan, while the fourth concerns a decree on a railway safety fund.
The fifth is related to preparations for Laos’ chairmanship of Asean in 2024.
The government agreed in principle to adopt a decree on journalists’ titles, but noted that improvement of the decree was needed based on recommendations from cabinet members.
The other strategies and polices concern agriculture, as the government is keen to increase crop yields and cattle farming to boost exports.