By Somxay Sengdara
December 20, 2012
The fourth ordinary session of the National Assembly’s (NA) Seventh Legislature ended yesterday after approving seven amended and four new laws, national strategy plans and various projects.
The amended laws approved include those on Traffic, Land Transportation, Defence Obligations, Anti-Corruption, Environmental Protection, the Penal Code and Narcotic Drugs.
In the last two cases, the NA approved some articles that are related to each other, namely article no. 146 of the Penal Law and articles nos. 75 and 76 of the Law on Narcotic Drugs.
The new laws approved are those on the Securities Exchange, Irrigation, Electronic Transactions, and Multi-Transportation.
“The laws will be important tools in state and socio-economic management in the new era. They address new conditions in the economy, trade, and investment integration into the international community, as Laos becomes a member of the World Trade Organisation,” said NA President Ms Pany Yathortou when addressing the session’s closing ceremony.
The amendment of the Industrial Processing Law was also introduced for consideration. It aims to address all barriers and inappropriate measures and procedures relating to business operations in Laos.
The National Assembly did not approve the amendment but called on the relevant ministries and NA committees to take the comments of NA members into account for further improvement and to submit it for approval at the next session.
During the 12-day session, the National Assembly raised support for other important national issues such as the National Strategy on Health Reform, the Kaleum district relocation project in Xekong province, the Xayaboury dam, and ratification of Laos’ accession to the World Trade Organisation.
The NA praised the success of the bi-election of an NA member for Khammuan province, which resulted in full membership being maintained.
Regarding health reform strategy, the session praised the government for enhancing the participation of local administration at all levels and people of all strata in working towards the health sector targets outlined in the Resolution of the ninth Party Congress and the seventh National Socio-Economic Development Plan.
The National Assembly also voiced its appreciation of the efforts made by the government over the past 15 years in the negotiations for WTO membership, along with the improvement of many pieces of legislation which led to Laos’ application being approved.
The session also heard a report on the performance of the NA Standing Committee over the period from the third to the fourth sessions as well as plans for next year.
Of particular note was the hosting of the Seventh Asia-Europe Parliamentarian Partnership meeting, which helped to raise the profile of the Lao National Assembly and Laos within the international community.