November 26, 2012
The current fiscal year will witness an increase of the school administration budget from 20,000 kip to 50,000 kip per student for primary schools and from nothing to 20,000 kip per student for secondary schools, said senior official.
“This may be considered as a slight increase for a student but it is a relatively big challenge when we compare it with the budget we have,” said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Khamlien Pholsena told the Round Table Implementation Meeting last Friday.
“In addition, the salary of teachers will be increased. This move encourages the growth in education and health sectors,” said Mr. Khamlien.
He said that the most significant was the government had adjusted upward a budget for education sector to 17 per cent and health sector to 9 per cent of the total spending budget.
Last Friday meeting gave an opportunity to Mr. Khamlien to report key achievements in the second year implementation of the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and priorities and targets for the annual NSEDP. In the last fiscal year, the government directed 30 % of its own budget and assistance by international development partners into the development in economic area, 35 % into social-culture sphere and same percentage into basic infrastructure field, according to Mr. Khamlien.
“Over the last one year, according to estimated data, the economic growth has been registered at 8 % with a per capita income of 1,355 US dollars recorded. Meanwhile the inflation rate stood at 5 % which was under the limit we have set or under the level of economic growth,”said Mr. Khamlien.
Last fiscal year saw the amount of national revenues growing to 23.4 % of the country’s GDP and the national budget expense amounting to 25.6 % of GDP meaning that Laos had 2.2 % of GDP as a budget deficit.
However, Mr. Khamlien said those figures too were under the limit set in the five-year socio-economic development plan.
Last year, the export was beyond the target with minerals, mineral products, electricity, wood products and timbers shared the largest portion of export list.
Although the export grew significantly, Lao still faced a trade deficit due to a hike in import of inputs for the domestic and foreign investment projects. These included electric appliances, construction materials, finished products, electronics, and agricultural inputs.