The new-style rural building programme has made strong progress last year, bringing about positive changes in socio-economic life in rural areas, it was reported at a recent national meeting in the northern province of Lang Son in late March.

The event, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was attended by the ministry’s senior officials and leaders of provincial-level coordinating offices for the programme nationwide.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said it aims to review achievements in 2014, and establish orientations for 2016-2020 of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development as well as to adjust criteria for new-style rural areas.

According to a report of the National Coordination Office, the progress can be seen in the improved people’s awareness, upgraded infrastructure and increased income of people in rural areas thanks to the introduction of various production models.

Despite having considerable achievements, there are still shortcomings in the movement implementation such as low ratio in obtaining basic criteria. Only 36.4 percent of the total communes nationwide met the criterion on poverty rate among households. The rate was 23.3 percent regarding the criterion on transportation, 17.9 percent in terms of cultural infrastructure and 26.8 percent in terms of environment.

The northern mountainous region lags behind others in fulfilling new style areas criteria, recording the lowest rates of completion for 12 out of the total 19 criteria.

The goal is to have all communes across the country build 6 crucial infrastructural works by 2020 including transportation, electricity and clean water supply systems, schools, medical stations, and cultural and sport facilities in order to improve people’s living condition.

Eighty percent of all the communes should meet the criteria on income and poverty rate by 2020, according to the programme.

The National Target Programme on New Rural Development, launched in 2010, sets 19 criteria for new-style rural areas, covering infrastructure, production, living standards, income and culture, among others.-VNA