Members of the National Assembly have asked the government to increase the minimum wage as people’s cost of living keeps rising.
Months ago, the Lao Federation of Trade Unions proposed increasing minimum wage from 1.1 million kip to 1.5 million kip.
However, labour organizations have suggested that the proposal is unrealistic to the current situation and the new minimum wage, expected to be announced in May 2023, is more likely to be raised to 1.3 million kip.
Mr. Phonsan Vilaimeng, member of the National Assembly for Constituency 13 (Savannakhet) justified that the increased minimum wage will encourage Lao workers to be more interested in working in Laos rather than seeking jobs overseas.
As the covid-19 outbreak is easing, there are more and more Lao workers seeking jobs overseas, especially those workers in provinces located along the national borderlines.
Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khamay Khatthiya said that increasing the minimum wage is possible only if after thorough consideration and discussion by the three labour organizations representing the government, workers and employers.
“According to domestic and international regulations, study in adjusting the minimum wage takes a long time and involves the collection of information from all relevant parties,” said the minister.
In reality, the minimum wage paid to employees by labour units is not 1.2 million kip as currently defined by laws. The latest survey suggests that most labour units pay each of their employees as high as 1.6 million kip per month.
“In the past fuel allowance of 50,000 kip for civil servants could cover fuel cost for several days but today that amount is merely enough for less than two days. Meanwhile, previously, refuelling a car tank cost 400,000-500,000 kip but now 1 million kip,” said Ms Ketmany Bandasak, member of the National Assembly for Constituency 1 (Vientiane).
Source: Lao News Agency