Banking & Finance

NA debates Draft Law on Central Bank

Date: 19 June 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Vientiane Times

The duties and structure of the Bank of the Lao PDR’s executive board were at the centre of debate at the National Assembly (NA) yesterday, with the aim of strengthening the bank’s management and preventing illegal financial activities.

Assembly members debated an amendment to the Law on the Bank of the Lao PDR, with some wanting the chairman of the bank to be a deputy prime minister as previously, while others wanted someone of that position to be president of the bank.

NA members who were against the bank’s Governor being chairman of the board said they were concerned about the president appointing himself as chairman of the Committee on Currencies Management.

Vice Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Mrs Vatthana Dalaloy, representing the drafting subcommittee, said the subcommittee would maintain the current system and the government had recently agreed that the bank’s Governor would hold the post on the board.

She explained that the governor was also a member of the Party Central Committee and a member of the government so he would take political responsibility directly.

Mrs Vatthana also pointed out that some neighbouring countries have central bank governors who are chairmen of committees on currencies management.

The amendment under consideration covers the entire content of the law, which has 78 articles, while the previous law had 62 articles.

Pertaining to Article No.10, which states the bank’s obligations, NA member for Vientiane, Mr Bounthong Phommachand, said the amendment should not miss the point about the bank’s structure and its personnel development, which will decide the success of the bank.

He said personnel should be professional, adding that unless this were the case, their work would be valueless and it could lead to the abuse of power.

He pointed to some other countries where they stressed the assurance of leadership and the importance of Party and personnel development.

The management of micro-finance institutions was also raised by an NA member, who asked the Bank of the Lao PDR to take its obligations seriously to prevent people from becoming victims of illegal business ventures, such as had happened with the failed PS Company and Asianface Company Ltd.

The drafting subcommittee acknowledged the impact of illegal activities on people, especially those in rural areas, but said it partly occurred because of the small number of micro-finance institutions and the Bank of the Lao PDR’s limited personnel.

The subcommittee promised to consider other issues raised by NA members, including the management of valuables.

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