VN to focus on rural development, poverty

Building new rural areas and sustainable poverty reduction will be the main targets of the country in the next five years as a majority of National Assembly (NA) deputies approved a draft resolution on investment policy for national target programmes between 2016 to 2020 yesterday.

According to the resolution, half of communes nationwide will meet all the new rural criteria by 2020 and all communes will fulfill at least five criteria. — Photo

More than 88 per cent of votes yesterday agreed to narrow down the 16 national target programmes between 2011 and 2015 to only two to focus on in the coming time to thoroughly and effectively solve the nation's urgent and necessary issues.

Meanwhile, the Government will continue reviewing 21 target programmes as specified in the NA Standing Committee's Resolution 1023/NQ-UBTVQH13 issued in August this year with a view to erasing overlapping targets and tasks which are those stipulated in the two national target programmes.

According to the resolution, half of communes nationwide will meet all the new rural criteria by 2020 and all communes will fulfill at least five criteria.

The resolution requires a total minimum investment for building of more than VND193.1 trillion (nearly $8.6 billion), of which VND63.1 trillion ($2.8 billion) will be sourced from the central budget and the rest is to come from localities.

The new rural area building, initiated by the Vietnamese Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics and defence, aiming to boost rural development.

The list of criteria also covers the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacities, environmental protection and the promotion of cultural values.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimated that by the end of this year around 1,500 communes will reach the new rural standards, accounting for 16.8 per cent of the total communes nationwide.

Regarding sustainable poverty reduction for 2016 to 2020, the resolution sets a target of an average drop of 1.0 per cent to 1.5 per cent in the household poverty rate and 4 per cent annually in impoverished localities.

The programme will give priority to poor districts and disadvantaged communes in coastal, island, mountainous and border areas.

The minimum investment for the programme is VND46.1 trillion ($2 billion), of which the State budget is to provide VND41.4 trillion ($1.8 billion).

Referendum discussed

Also yesterday, NA deputies discussed the draft Law on Referendum, during which they asked for a clear regulation on when a referendum should be carried out.

Deputy Bui Manh Hung from the southern province of Binh Phuoc stressed that a resolution after a referendum is conducted should have special legal value and must be at a higher level than all other NA's resolutions.

"The referendum reflects what the people select and decide so it should be just as an ordinary resolution," he said.

Regarding the regulation of not carrying out a referendum during the promulgation of situations of war and emergency nationwide or within six months from the abrogation of the mentioned situations, deputy Vu Xuan Truong from the northern province of Nam Dinh said that the regulation was only suitable in normal conditions.

"In the real operation of the National Assembly, it normally takes from four to six months or more for a resolution on a referendum to be carried out. As a result, the regulation is not suitable in cases of sudden situations that need referendum such as those related to national defence, national sovereignty, security, border issues," he said.

Truong suggested the NA deputies re-consider the regulation or have a specific regulation related for unexpected situations.

Also yesterday, NA deputies agreed to raise the military service age when discussing the Law on Professional Soldiers and Military Personnel, claiming that the new prolonged service time would avoid a waste of human resource and help reduce the cost of training for new generations.

Deputy Nguyen Thi Bich Nhiem from the northern province of Yen Bai said that the retirement ages for professional soldiers and military personnel were low right now under 50 while many of them were still in good health situation and with essential knowledge and skills to serve more.

NA deputies also listened to reports on the draft Law on Child Protection, Care and Education and the draft Law on Associations. The two will be debated during the current National Assembly meetings.


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