Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (Source :VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has hailed the national target programme on new rural development for becoming a nationwide mass campaign since its launch five years ago.

The positive achievements gained will lay the groundwork for the drive to reap more fruits in the next five years, he was speaking to a conference in Hanoi on December 8 reviewing the programme from 2010-2015 and outlining its 2016-2020 tasks.

Mentioning the goal of recognising 50 percent of the communes nationwide as new-style rural areas between 2016 and 2020, he appealed for fine-tuning policies and raising awareness of the campaign among the Party units, authorities and the entire political system, considering it as a major and regular political task.

Simultaneously, it is crucial to continue pooling all possible resources for the drive while improving the capacity of relevant staff, he added.

The leader also requested more attention to achieving criteria for road and waterway infrastructure, improving workforce in rural areas in tandem with agriculture restructuring, cultural development, environment protection, and social security, order and safety.

Speaking at the event, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said the entire political system must have not only high determination but also concrete actions towards the rural areas, where 70 percent of the population is living.

He also asked for taking farmer-oriented approaches to planning, production, infrastructure, health care, culture and education.

In a report delivered by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and permanent deputy head of the Central Steering Committee of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, 1,300 communes have been recognised as meeting the new-style rural area criteria, or 14.5 percent of the total, as of November 2015.

At the district level, 11 have been accorded the status, including those in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Lam Dong, Dong Nai and Hau Giang.

Another eight districts and townships have submitted papers to seek the recognition.

The average annual income per capita hits 24.4 million VND (1,100 USD), a 1.9-fold increase from 2010.

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

One must have at least 75 percent of its communes meeting all the 19 criteria in order to receive the new rural area title.-VNA