Master plan aims to improve ethnic minorities’ lives hinh anh 1Do Van Chien, Minister-Chairman of the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs addresses the 37th session of the NA Standing Committee on September 18 (Photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) – Members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on September 18 discussed a draft resolution approving a master plan on socio-economic development in ethnic and mountainous areas as well as regions with extreme difficult situation in the 2021-2025 period.

According to Do Van Chien, Minister-Chairman of the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, the plan was essential to overcome shortcomings and promote the comprehensive development of ethnic minority people.

The implementation of the project will contribute to increasing incomes for people, contributing to sustainable poverty reduction and basically solving some pressing issues of people living in extremely difficult socio-economic regions, he said.

Among the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, 53 are minorities with more than 13 million people, accounting for 14.6 percent of the country’s population. Ethnic minorities are living in 56 of the 63 provinces and cities nationwide.

Although the ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the northwest, Central Highlands, southwestern and western central coastal regions hold a strategic position in the country’s socio-economic development strategy as well as guarantee security, they still have the lowest quality of human resources, Chien said.

He also said the regions had lowest access to basic social services and a high poverty rate.

Chien blamed this on the fact the ethnic minority people live in the border and mountainous areas with severe climate and poor infrastructure.

High costs of production and circulation of goods have made it difficult to attract social resources for socio-economic development.

The low efficiency of using investment capital and failure to exploit the potentials of the regions has also deterred their development.

Thanks to implementation of policy to support infrastructure development for ethnic minority and mountainous areas and poverty reduction models, the living standards of local residents has improved remarkably.

One such model is a fish farm built in the reservoir of the hydro power plant in Lai Chau which provides employment and salaries for a number of residents in the Than Uyen district.

In 2018, it helped see a reduction of 5 percent of the number of poor households living in poverty compared to the previous year. 

By the end of last year, there were 24,195 poor households, accounting for 25 percent of the total households in the province.

In 2018, two districts, Tan Uyen and Than Uyen, were no longer on the list of the poor districts of the country.

Ha Ngoc Chien, Chairman of the NA Council for Ethnic Minority Affairs, said the majority of council members agreed with the necessity of building the master plan as mentioned in the Government’s report.

“It is essential to have a policy strong enough to attract investment in these regions, aiming at narrowing the development and income gap,” he said.

Basing on supervisory results on the implementation of policies to support socio-economic development for ethnic minority and mountainous areas in 2016-2018 period, Chien said, the project would help enhance the effectiveness of policies and investment resource of the State and society.

The total capital for the project was estimated at 335.4 trillion VND at the minimum level.

However, the NA Council for Ethnic Minority Affairsproposed the Government to clarify the foundation for resource estimate because the project failed to show list of investment.

The council also suggested the Ministry of Planning and Investment to make a report on resource assessment before submitting to the NA for approval.
The Government should make clear the State budget spending increase compared with the 2011-2022 period and how to guarantee the investment resource.

Chien said the NA Council for Ethnic Minority Affairsproposed the Government to amend the project and submit to the eight session of National Assembly for consideration./.