Savannakhet authorities have recently closed 74 timber factories, and ordered 38 other timber factories to suspend their operation.
One hundred and seven other factories have been ordered to improve their operation standards otherwise they will be closed down, Vice Governor of Savannakhet Province, Mr Thonekeo Phoutthakayalath told the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Savannakhet Provincial People’s Councils last week.
There are 526 timber and furniture factories in Savannakhet Province. These include 273 factories with business licenses and 253 factories operating illegally.
Some 56 timber factories are proved to be legitimate and meet standards required by relevant authorities, according to Mr Thonekeo.
“Since the issuance of Prime Minister’s Order No 15 in May last year, the provincial authorities have strictly implemented the order and established an ad hoc committee to carry out preventive measures to tackle illegal logging and illegal wood export,” said Mr Thonekeo.
More than 6,340 cubic metres of illegal timber have been seized from illegal loggers and timber dealers since the announcement of Prime Minister’s Order No 15.
Over 2,600 cubic metres of the seized timber have been sold to the public for over 3.4 billion kip.
Savannakhet authorities have also found timber amounting to 50,225 cubic metres left at 129 timber factories. Of this amount, 47,595 cubic metres are licensed.
“Our provincial authorities have recorded over 150 cases related to the violation of regulations on the protection and management of forest, non-timber forest products and wildlife and aquatic animals,” said Mr Thonekeo. “Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 has successfully curbed harmful practices in the forestry sector and timber industry, while restoring public trust in the party and government.”
Source Lao News Agency