Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasized the need to mobilise all social resources for building new style rural areas besides investment from the State budget.

Addressing a May 16 conference of the steering committee for the national target programme on building new rural areas, the PM said building new rural areas is an important policy that has won the support of people nationwide.

Noting that the country’s rural areas have seen many positive changes during the three years implementing the policy, he said however, investment for the programme remains limited, while many agencies and local administrations still fail to grasp the importance of the policy.

Greater efforts are needed in order to achieve the set target of having 20 percent of all communes nationwide meet all the criteria for new rural areas by 2015, he said.

The PM instructed that priority should be given to building infrastructure of transport, irrigation, power supply, health care, education and telecommunications in target areas.

He also asked local authorities to adopt policies to attract more investment in their rural areas with a view to developing industrial production and services, thus creating more jobs and increasing income for rural labourers.

The conference heard that thanks to the policy, infrastructure in many rural areas has been upgraded, while incomes and living conditions of rural residents have been improved remarkably. At the present, 185 communes have achieved all 19 criteria for new rural areas and nearly 600 others have met between 15-18 criteria. On average, each commune has so far fulfilled 8.47 criteria compared to 4.7 in 2011.

Reports at the conference noted that the revision of the criteria to suit the specific situation in different regions has contributed to the positive outcomes.

Production planning and new production models are the bright spots in the implementation of the new rural area building programme. Most provinces and cities have built large-scale fields and promoted mechanization in agricultural production. Many localities have successfully established economic models combining agriculture and tourism, or traditional craft village and tourism.

Infrastructure building also received due attention, with nearly 5,000 projects now underway aiming to build 64,000 km of rural roads.

There are 19 national criteria for new rural areas, which cover building infrastructure, improving production capacity, building public works, protecting landscape and environment, and promote local traditions and cultural identities.-VNA