Vientiane Times, 7 Oct 2014
Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs Mr Somsavat Lengsavad has advised the Ministry of Energy and Mines to restudy the energy policy concerning its contribution to poverty reduction and relevant development plans.
Mr Somsavat provided the advice when meeting with the ministry’s leaders and officials, including Minister Soulivong Daravong, at the ministry office last Friday.
He encouraged the ministry to join with the Ministry of Planning and Investment for planning energy development to support the areas that will be the targets for socio-economic development in the future.
Concerning forms of investment, the DPM recommended the ministry to consider them depending on the factors in each period, including devolution of power between the central and local authorities, while stressing the need for capacity building for technical experts so that they can be more self-reliant.
He also emphasised the human resource development on the first stage regarding power plant management prior to hydropower plants being be transferred to the government in the future, with the ministry’s training centre requiring improvement to bring it in line with modern standards.
He called on the ministry to pay attention to developing the state enterprises relevant to the sector. Protection of forests of the watershed and tree plantations were important issues.
The DPM has called on the ministry to pay high attention to for sustain water source for the plant operation. Regarding rural electrification, Mr Somsavat recommended the ministry to consider its effectiveness of output.
Pertaining to the resettlement of residents impacted by hydropower projects, he said people’s living conditions should be maintained or improved in comparison to their state prior to relocation. Mr Somsavat also recommended the ministry seek power development domestically and in neighbouring countries to ensure the generation and transmission of appropriate energy supplies.