42.4 percent of communes earn new rural area status hinh anh 1Residents in new-style rural areas gain access to clean water (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – As of the end of 2018, a total of 3,787 communes nationwide or 42.4 percent have been recognised as new-style rural areas, representing a year-on-year rise of 8.02 percent.

According to the National Coordination Office of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development, the southern province of Dong Nai has taken the lead in this regard, with all of its 133 communes gaining the status.

Sixty one district-level localities in 30 centrally-run cities and provinces have been recognised as new rural areas, up 18 districts from the number at the end of 2017 and surpassing the set target.

More than 322 trillion VND (13.8 billion USD) has been mobilised to carry out the programme, including 8.7 trillion VND (374.1 million USD) sourced from the State budget, the office said. Rural residents contributed more than 18.3 trillion VND to implement the programme.

Nguyen Minh Tien, head of the office, said the programme has given a facelift to rural areas, adding that more attention has been paid to developing large-scale agricultural production using high technologies, new-style cooperatives and environmental protection.

However, there remained gaps between localities and regions during the implementation of the programme, the official said. While Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang city and Dong Nai, Nam Dinh and Ha Nam provinces have basically completed the target of new-style rural areas and begun to work on the higher target of model rural areas, some provinces, for example the northern mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Bac Kan and Cao Bang, still recorded low numbers of communes meeting standards for new-style rural areas.

In 2019, the target is to raise the percentage of new-style rural areas to about 48-50 percent of total communes. At least 10 more districts are hoped to earn the recognition, and there will be no communes completing less than five criteria.

The National Target Programme on New-style Rural Area Building, initiated by the Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural regions of Vietnam. 

The number of criteria was increased to 20 in 2015.    

The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacity, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.-VNA