Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the conference (Source: VNA)
Lao Cai (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underscored the need to complete mechanisms and policies to spur socio-economic development in ethnic minority-inhabited regions.

The official made the request at a conference held by the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs and the Lao Cai provincial People’s Committee on February 27. The event aims to review ethnic work from 2011 to 2015 and roll out tasks for 2016.

Over the past five years, ethnic-related policies have contributed to raising living standards of ethnic minority and mountainous people, he said.

However, there are policies that are overlapping and unsuitable, he said, adding that many localities have yet to outline ethnic strategies for 2016-2020.

As a result, the income gap between regions has widened, especially among ethnic minority-inhabited and mountainous areas, according to the official.

Against the backdrop, Deputy PM Phuc asked ministries, agencies and localities to promptly amend ethnic-related policies and allocate more resources for mountainous, remote and far-flung areas.

While echoing the Deputy PM’s views, the Committee’s Minister-Chairman Giang Seo Phu also blamed resource shortage for pending policies, programmes and projects.

He said ethnic minority-inhabited and mountainous regions still met a lot of economic difficulties, poor socio-economic infrastructure, especially in transport, electricity, irrigation, and medical and educational facilities.

High poverty rate, unemployment, low income, low-quality human resources, natural disasters and unexpected diseases are posing a headache, he said.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat added underdeveloped agricultural production in the regions to the list of problems.

Given this, the minister suggested the close connection between businesses and farmers as well as among farmers, and the acceleration of the application of scientific and technological advances in production.

The ministry has always paid attention to policies supporting ethnic groups in all localities, particularly those regarding sustainable and rapid poverty reduction, Phat affirmed.

Addressing the conference, Vice Chairman of the Dak Nong provincial People’s Committee Cao Huy said policies towards ethnic minority and mountainous groups have proven effective, contributing to improving living standards of remote, far-flung, mountainous and marginalised communes.

He noted his hope that ethnic minority and mountainous people will have easy access to information to learn how to earn higher income.

Representatives from Quang Nam and Tra Vinh provinces also proposed the Party and the State pour more investments in ethnic groups and lay out specific policies to support ethnic minorities.

Delegates at the conference agreed on key tasks in 2016, which focus on the synchronous and effective realisation of ethnic-related programmes, policies and projects.

Efforts will be made to raise awareness among mountainous people of plots of hostile forces who take advantage of Vietnam’s ethnic and religious policies to defame the Party and the State and break the great national unity bloc.-VNA