The implementation of policies and laws on poverty reduction for ethnic minority people in the 2005-2012 period was the focus of the National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Minority Affairs and Committee for Social Affairs when they held a review session in Hanoi on April 25.

At the meeting, which was broadcast live, Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said that during the period, the Government set up a central steering committee on sustainable poverty reduction, prioritised resources for infrastructure development, gradually cut down its direct assistance policies and increased loans for production.

Ministries and agencies adopted measures to help people escape from poverty and access preferential loans, she added.

Regarding farming land for the people, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said many localities now have no land for agricultural production while forestry land remains abundant.

Since Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued a decision on the pilot allocation of forest land to ethnic minority people, 118,000 hectares have been allocated to nearly 5,430 households, he said.

Reviewing the social welfare issue, Deputy Finance Minister Vu Thi Mai stated that health issuance, housing and education support programmes for poor ethnic people have funding in place, but some localities have still seen slow progress.

The Government has set out measures to allocate budgets for the next stages, prioritising policies on social security and poverty reduction, she confirmed.

Regarding vocational training and job generation, Minister Chuyen said that the Government has approved two projects on vocational training for rural and ethnic minority labourers with the one aimed at sending them to work abroad.

Concluding the session, Chairman of the NA’s Council for Ethnic Minority Affairs Ksor Phuoc asked ministries and agencies to review all mechanisms and policies to limit overlapping content and encourage businesses to provide financial, employment and technical assistance for ethnic communities.-VNA