By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
March 21, 2013
Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit yesterday instructed the Vientiane authorities to help district and village authorities to formulate socio-economic development plans based on local strength, in a bid to spur development in local communities.
Mr Bounnhang made the suggestion at a two-day meeting of Vientiane authority on the implementation of the newly-initiated Three Builds directive on devolution (Sam Sang directive) that took place in the capital.
The directive, which features in the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress, spells out how provinces are to be built up as strategy-making units, districts are to be strengthened in all regards, and villages are to become development units. The directive has been in force since October last year.
Mr Bounnhang asked the authorities to focus on the three districts and ten villages designated to pilot the Three Builds initiative.
“The Vientiane Planning and Investment Department must lead the districts and villages designated to pilot the Sam Sang in drawing up development plans,” said Mr Bounnhang, who is Chairman of the National Committee in charge of Sam Sang activities.
“The districts and villages designated to pilot the Sam Sang must have commercially-based production projects along with other projects.”
To achieve this, the vice president suggested the Vientiane authorities send technical staff to work in local communities to lead people in carrying out production activities and teach them the correct techniques to boost productivity.
Although Vientiane boasts high agricultural production potential, the vice president noted that much of this potential remains untapped and the city imports a large number of farm products.
In this regard, he instructed officials to draw up plans and identify which crops should be grown in larger quantities, and to encourage farmers to grow them.
He reiterated that priority should be given to developing the districts and villages targeted as Sam Sang models, so they could in turn drive development in the surrounding areas.
“The allocation of state budget for investment must be in line with this direction,” he said.
To successfully implement the Sam Sang directive, Mr Bounnhang said “We must take action thoroughly.”
The vice president stressed the need to attach great importance to sustainable development based on environmentally-friendly development.
But he noted that forest areas across the capital have been occupied and overexploited, saying that forests in many areas are gradually disappearing while sawmills are mushrooming.
In this regard, he instructed officials to wisely allocate and manage land for development purposes based on sustainability.
In addition, the authorities were asked to revise legislation to ensure it was in harmony with the Sam Sang directive, which gives district and village authorities more responsibilities and tasks.
Mr Bounnhang also instructed the authorities to work harder to address social ills. He cited the prevalence of theft, bag snatching, drug abuse and smuggling, and flouting of the traffic regulations which causes road accidents, and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
The authorities were als o asked to work harder to ensure security, in order to create conditions conducive to development.
He suggested that special attention be placed on managing households, and making sure that foreigners whose documents were invalid were deported.
Mr Bounnhang recalled that taking action to carry out the Three Builds directive was aimed at realising the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress. The Resolution set an ambitious goal to reduce poverty among poor families from the currently estimated 13 percent to less than 10 percent by 2015 and advance the country further towards graduating from Least Developed Country status by 2020 and the creation of a socialist nation.
Vientiane Mayor Mr Soukanh Mahalath committed to leading officials in taking action to realise the advice of the vice president.
Deputy ministers and representatives of various government agencies also attended the meeting that ended today.