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A member of the Lao National Assembly has called on the government to raise salaries for low-paid state workers amid a surge in inflation in the country, one of many economic problems facing one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries. Inflation accelerated to 38.5 percent in November, the highest level in 23 years, with the prices for water, electricity and health care all climbing rapidly. On Aug. 1, the Lao government raised the monthly minimum wage for workers by 100,000 kip to 1.2 million kip, or about U.S. $69 at the current exchange rate.

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