VIENTIANE, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Laos will continue to face budgetary tension next year despite taking a number of steps to mitigate fiscal problems, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy said on Tuesday.
The financial difficulty has arisen as revenue collection has not increased as anticipated, while budgetary expenditure has risen significantly over the past few years, the official addressed a meeting between representatives of the government and the National Assembly.
Laos requires more funds to take care of its expenses and to pay rising debts. It is often challenged in seeking funding to handle the budget expenditure, leading to deficit, he said.
For 2017, the government plans to collect 23.94 trillion Lao kip (2.9 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue and spend 32.4 trillion Lao kip (3.9 billion dollars), with the deficit set to be 8.46 trillion Lao kip (1 billion dollars), or 6.5 percent of GDP.
However, only 10.36 trillion Lao kip (1.2 billion dollars) has been collected in the first six months of this year, representing around 43 percent of the annual plan.