The development of new-style rural areas is defined among key and regular political tasks of the Party, State and the entire political system, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a teleconference in Hanoi on January 22.

The conference intended to evaluate the new rural development campaign, set 2015 tasks for the drive, and consider proposals to adjust a set of 19 national criteria on new-style rural development.

The PM said the campaign is part of efforts to restructure the economy in general and the farming sector in rural areas, making them industrialised and more modern.

He pointed out drawbacks arising from the process, including the lack of supervision over eligibility for new rural areas and limited investments of businesses and international organisations.

In 2015, the Central Steering Committee for the National Target Programme on New Rural Development looks to recognise 20 percent of communes and over five districts nationwide as new rural areas, with at least three communes in each city and province gaining the status.

It will also fine-tune the national target programme for 2016-2020 to submit to the Prime Minister for approval, and issues special mechanisms conducive to disadvantaged areas.

To speed up agricultural restructuring, the committee plans to develop cooperative models suitable to features of the irrigation, plantation, animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries sectors.

In the meantime, it will continue improving the quality of the environment, education, health care and social order while further spreading the drives calling on the whole nation to build new rural areas and all people unite to develop cultural life in residential areas.

Participants asked for the government’s support to localities in attracting business investments in remote areas, and possible changes to several rural development criteria to suit realities.

The State Bank of Vietnam and the Finance Ministry are also expected to consider providing a credit line for the campaign.

Last year, the nation recorded 785 communes as new-style rural areas, each meeting 10 out of the 19 criteria on average.

In the district level, Xuan Loc and Long Khanh in the southern province of Dong Nai gained the recognition.

A set of the above 19 criteria were defined under the National Target Program on New Rural Development which was approved in 2010, covering infrastructure, production, living standards, income, culture targets, among others that localities have to meet.-VNA