VIENTIANE, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the energy and mining sector at the first quarter meeting of 2019, which was held here on Tuesday, that every project needs to be considered carefully before approved, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.
Sisoutlith has called for the energy and mining sector to make greater use of natural resources to maximize sustainable incomes from various projects nationwide.
The Lao premier also told officials in charge of the sector that three different measures need to be considered before any project is approved.
"The three measures refer to thinking wider, thinking further, and going on the right track."
He went on to explain that thinking wider means to think about the short-term and long-term impacts from any mining project that may cause harm to the people and the environment.
"Meanwhile, further thought and careful evaluation of the short-term benefits and long-term effects are required to ensure that projects are on the right track and follow the guidelines of the proposed plan to avoid any problems," he said.
Sisoulith noted that Laos is rich in natural resources. These can generate greater income for the nation, but investment in these projects needs to be double checked as part of the government's efforts to maximize the benefits and eliminate less efficient projects.
"Last year was a bad year for Laos with the collapse of the saddle dam in Attapeu province and the failure of a small scale dam in Xieng Khuang province. This reminds us to learn lessons and carefully study future projects," he added.
The Lao government is now assessing both existing and proposed energy and mining projects to ensure they comply with the feasibility studies and plans.
In addition, the premier called for the government to cut the price of electricity for government employees and people on low incomes, while the cost of electricity used by businesses will also be adjusted so that it is more affordable and attractive to investors.