Members of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Assembly (NA) discussed a report on the NA’s supervision over the national target programme on new-style rural area building during their meeting yesterday.
|Vũ Hồng Thanh, Chairman of the NA Economic Committee. — Photo vneconomy.vn|
Vũ Hồng Thanh, Chairman of the NA Economic Committee, said the programme has brought about positive results.
Thanh, who is also head of the NA Supervision Group for the programme, said the percentage of poor households in rural areas was reduced to 8.2 per cent last year from 17.4 per cent in 2011.
As many as 1,526 communes, equivalent to 17.1 per cent of total communes nationwide, meet the programme’s requirements by December 31, last year.
About 1,223 communes, or 13.7 per cent, accomplished 15-18 criteria while 3,355 fulfilled between 10 and 14 criteria, he said.
As of September this year, 2,045 communes, accounting for 23 per cent, were recognised as new-style rural areas along with 24 districts.
To gain the title, communes must satisfy 19 specific criteria in areas including planning, transportation, irrigation, power supply, schools, infrastructure system, income per capita, low level of poverty and environment.
Thanh noted shortcomings, including the slow promulgation of guiding documents and some criteria not suitable to the socio-economic situation of specific areas and planning activities. These shortcomings affected the efficiency and sustainability of the programme.
This opinion was shared by Chairman of the NA’s Defence and Security Committee, Võ Trọng Việt.
While the new-style rural development programme brought about a new appearance, especially in remote areas, as it improved living standards and shortened the gap between rich and poor, he said, the criteria were also an obstacle, with some criteria unrealistic.
Việt suggested research should be done into revising the criteria.
The report from NA Supervision Group showed that the transformation of the rural economic structure had been sluggish where as linkages between agricultural production and consumers had been poor. Policies supporting the large-scale farms have not been attractive enough, it said.
The report also highlighted the problem of high debt in capital construction, noting 53 out of 63 provinces and cities were bearing debt.
Total debt had reached VNĐ15.277 trillion (US$685 million) with some of them becoming insolvent.
Although total debt accounted for 1.8 per cent of total resources mobilised for the programme and 5.7 per cent of the State budget allocated for it, the situation still poses threat to the programme.
To deal with the issue, the Supervision Group suggested that debts should be tackled completely in 2017 and those with construction debt shouldn’t be allowed to implement new projects.
Nguyễn Xuân Cường, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that he would direct localities to settle the debts.
However, NA Vice Chairman Uông Chu Lưu doubted the feasibility of the goal, saying seeking the resources to pay for the debt wasn’t yet possible.
Nguyễn Văn Giàu, head of NA Comittee for External Relations, proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development co-ordinate with the Ministry of Finance to find a solution. He also suggested advancing no more capital to localities without a payment plan.
In the afternoon session, NA deputies heard a report on the settlement of voters’ feedback and proposals sent to 11th session of the 13th National Assembly.
Nguyễn Thanh Hải, NA’s Ombudsman Commission, said all 856 complaints sent to the government, ministries and relevant agencies were responded to in a timely manner with clear explanations.
The number of complaints which were resolved accounted for 20.56 per cent, compared with 19.09 per cent in the previous meeting.
However, there were outstanding issues which needed to be settled, Hải said.
About 142 out of 277 complaints of the previous meetings had not yet been resolved.
There were many documents guiding the implementation of laws, ordinances or circulars guiding for a number of decrees which were no longer suitable, but have not yet amended although voters had filed complaints, she said.
The supplement of Decree No 177/NĐ-CP regulating articles in the Law on Health Insurance was an example.
A number of written answers did not solve the issue and no solutions have been set forth, she said.
In addition, several leaders did not answer voters’ complaints and authorised other officials to do so, she said.
Hải proposed ministries and agencies have a clear roadmap to address the 142 outstanding complaints of the previous sessions, adding that plans for high school graduation examination, issues relating to multi-level marketing business models, building brand for agriculture products as well as settling of illegal mineral resource exploitation and illegal logging were popular topics.