The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang aims to have an additional six communes meet the 19 requirements of the national new-style rural area building programme by late 2014.

The six expected communes meet 15-18 out of the criteria, but do not fulfill the requirements on the environment, per capita average income, and cultural and educational facilities.

It is estimated that the locality will need more than 150 billion VND (7.05 million USD) to implement measures to fulfill the remaining criteria. Local authorities have allocated 30 billion VND.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Cong Chanh said over the last three years the locality mobilised more than 21.5 trillion VND (1.01 billion USD) to construct and upgrade transport infrastructure, irrigation and water supply systems, cultural and educational services, medical facilities and production support for local residents.

So far, only three communes meet all 19 criteria of the programme, including Dai Thanh (Nga Bay town), Vi Thanh (Vi Thuy district) and Tan Tien (Vi Thanh city).

During the same period, the Mekong Delta province of Long An mobilised approximately 13.3 trillion VND for its new-style rural area building programme, focussing on upgrading and developing basic infrastructure, such as roads, cultural facilities and schools, while improving environmental protection efforts and promoting economic development.

As a result, 8 communes in the locality meet the programme’s 19 criteria.

Local authorities are working hard to receive recognition of 36 communes as new-style rural areas by 2015.

The programme is contributing to the reinvigoration of rural areas in the two provinces, improving physical and spiritual living conditions for local residents.

The national programme to build new-style rural areas, initiated by the Government in 2010, defines 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics and security–defence, aiming to give Vietnam’s rural areas a facelift.

Measures include building infrastructure, improving production capacity, constructing public facilities, protecting the landscape and environment, and promoting local traditions and cultural identities.-VNA