December 29, 2011
The building of political grassroots and inclusive rural development projects has contributed to maintaining security and reducing poverty in Laos.
Speaking yesterday during the opening ceremony of the 3rd Congress of Political Grassroots and Inclusive Rural Development, Vice President of Laos and Head of the Meeting’s Organising Committee Mr Bounnhang Vorachit said projects need to be implemented in depth and with wider scopes in order to sustain the livelihoods of local people.
“Political grassroots building and inclusive rural development are strategic measures that should be implemented both in terms of quantity and quality over the coming years,” he said.
The national meeting, running from December 28 to 30, will release a report titled Political Grassroots Building and Inclusive Rural Development from 2006 to 2010, as well as reports on the participation of government and private agencies and other collective and individual projects over the past five years.
In his report, President of the National Leading Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Reduction, Mr Bounheuang Duangphachanh, cited the political capacity of the grassroots level as responsible for a variety of successes over the past five years, which has benefited economic development and improved people’s livelihoods.
“Most importantly, we have been able to improve the grassroots capacity to be involved in political, ideological, and organisational systems, which has actively facilitated socio-economic development,” Mr Bounheuang said.
The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party set the direction of the country’s development focusing on political grassroots construction and comprehensive rural development at the 7th Part y Congress in 2001, in the belief that a strong political capacity at the grassroots level would facilitate development.
The implementation process over the past five years has encouraged involvement in national defence and security by all people by engaging the defence and security forces at all levels – central, provincial, district and village.
With regard to infrastructure development, 6,537 villages now have roads that are passable year round, 759 village groups have post offices, 60 percent of villages have telephone and mobile phone connections, and 99 percent of districts have electricity.
Concerning poverty reduction, about 47 percent of families have officially been given developed family status, 800 villages have graduated to developed status, and 11 village groups have been named as developed.
According to the report, the six focal areas of Sanluang and Nam Siem village groups in Xieng Khuang province and Long Chaeng, Meuang Om, Meuang Ao and Pha Lavek village groups in Vientiane province have been named models of economic and cultural development in rural areas.
Laos currently has 1,674 outstanding development villages, 9,559 outstanding families, 31,416 outstanding developers, and 353 outstanding business operators.
According to the plan for 2011 to 2015, the government will lower the poverty rate to 19 percent and reduce the number of poor villages from the current 3,175 to 900 villages.
President Choummaly Sayasone, Politburo members, and officials from government and private agencies attended the opening of the meeting.
The achievements of various collective and individual units are being exhibited at the meeting venue at the Party Central Committee office.