The southern province of Dong Thap has recognised its first five communes as new-style rural areas which have met all of 19 development criteria set by the government.

They include communes of Hoa An in Cao Lanh city, Thanh My and My Dong in Thap Muoi district, Binh Thanh in Cao Lanh district and Dinh Yen in Lap Vo district.

Statistics show that Dinh Yen records the highest annual income per capita in the province at 30.1 million VND (1,433 USD) while My Dong has the lowest household poverty rate of 3.07 percent.

The national target programme on building new-style rural areas, initiated by the Vietnamese Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural regions of Vietnam.

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

As many as 185 communes across Vietnam achieved all 19 criteria, and nearly 600 others met between 15-18 criteria. On average, each commune fulfilled 8.47 criteria compared to 4.7 in 2011, according to a report issued at a May 16 conference of the steering committee for the national target programme.

The country aims to have 20 percent and 50 percent of all communes nationwide meet all the requirements by the end of 2015 and 2020, respectively.-VNA