VIENTIANE, Lao — Lao government has agreed in principle to provide a supporting allowance for low-wage civil servants and increase the minimum wage for private sector employees to help them deal with surging inflation.
The agreement was made at the cabinet’s monthly meeting for July. The two-day meeting closed on Tuesday, Lao National Radio reported on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone speaks during the fourth Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, April 5, 2023. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)
The officials concerned were instructed to identify the number of people who will benefit from a wage increase and make a detailed analysis of the government’s capacity to make these extra payments.
The plan was announced shortly after Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone told the fifth ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) of Laos earlier this month to look into the possibility of increasing the minimum wage and providing a supporting allowance for low-wage civil servants.
NA members said the current monthly minimum wage of 1,300,000 kip (about 67 U.S. dollars) was inadequate given the cost of living and asked the government to consider a pay rise.
The prime minister instructed the departments responsible to do more to stabilize currency exchange rates, curb skyrocketing inflation, and address the high level of public debt.
He also told the sectors responsible for regulating the price of goods on sale to minimize financial hardship of the public.
According to the report, government agencies were also advised to ensure a sufficient supply of fuel and to push for greater productivity levels, so that more goods are produced domestically to replace imports and boost exports.