The southern province of Binh Phuoc aims to assist ten of 21 targeted communes to meet all 19 criteria of the national programme on building modern rural areas this year.

In order to meet this target, the province plans to mobilise various resources to accelerate implementation of the programme, which is estimated to cost more than 3.75 trillion VND (178.67 million USD).

Binh Phuoc officials intend to integrate the programme with other locally implemented projects, and to make use of other resources including land use right auctions, rental charges, and the local budget.

Four years post-commencement, the programme has helped raise the 2014 per capita income to 39 million VND (1,860 USD) – up 210 percent from 2010 –, reduce the impoverished household rate from 6.51 percent to 3.5 percent, and improve local infrastructure facilities and social services.

One commune within the province was recognised as a new modern rural area in 2014. Binh Phuoc intends to assist ten additional communes to satisfy at least 15 criteria in 2015, if not all 19.

Last year, as many as 785 communes were estimated to become new-style rural areas. In addition, 1,285 communes were expected to meet 15-18 out of the 19 criteria for new rural development, and 2,836 others to satisfy 10-14 criteria, according to the programme’s steering committee.

More than 157.8 trillion VND (8.5 billion USD), sourced from the State budget, credits, and the community, was spent on implementing the programme.

Building infrastructure, improving production capacity, constructing public works, protecting the landscape and environment, and promoting local traditions and cultural identities are among the criteria of the programme, initiated by the Government in 2010.-VNA