10 sawmills closed, 18 others in process: official

Ten sawmills located near and inside forest areas have been closed and removed, while 18 others are in the process of being removed as part of the government’s crackdown on sawmill operations and illegal logging. The closures came after the government recently issued an order to shut down the 28 sawmills located near and inside forest areas, as they violate the relevant law and regulations. The order stipulated a removal deadline of December 2016. Director General of the Industry and Handicraft Department under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr Manolack Rasachak, admitted that officials were unable to complete the removal by the deadline, saying they needed more time. Some sawmills are huge and it will take some time to remove them. However, we will continue with the work to complete their dismantling, he told Vientiane Times on February 5.

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