Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has asked for joint efforts to tackle environmental pollution in rural areas since it became an emerging issue in the new-style rural area building process.

The Deputy PM, who heads the Central Steering Committee for the Target Programme on new-style rural area building, chaired a meeting reviewing the programme operation over the past nine months in Hanoi on October 14.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, many localities recommended adjusting some criteria set for the new-style rural area building, like clarifying income calculation.

Other communities suggested tapering off standards issued for local markets or the issue of designing houses in accordance to geographical conditions in the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands, Nam, who is Deputy Head of the Central Steering Committee, added.

The Deputy PM agreed that the criteria can be revised to fit each locality’s conditions but the adaptability must still maintain culture and landscapes of the locality.

Ninh assigned related agencies to re-examine the set criteria based on these suggestions towards having both “fixed” and “flexible” standards.

He also agreed to establish coordinating offices in at provincial and district levels and position full-time coordinators in communes.

By early September 2014, 512 communes across the country were recognised as new style rural areas, 327 more than the figure reported at a conference reviewing the three-year implementation of the programme in May.-VNA