A lamp is installed on a rural road (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam aims to have about 25 percent of its communes named new-style rural communes this year as the national target programme on new countryside has entered the sixth year.

The country also hopes that around 30 – 35 district-level localities will secure the new-style rural area status by the end of 2016.

The Government-initiated national target programme is meant to give a facelift to rural regions across Vietnam.

Its criteria cover infrastructure, production, living standards, income and culture, among others. A district must have at least 75 percent of its communes meeting all the 19 criteria in order to receive the title of new rural district.

For 2016, the central steering committee for the programme is set to ask localities nationwide to further assist the communes having met less than five criteria and control their infrastructure building loans.

It will also consider making some criteria more flexible for the regions with special socio-economic features. And in the case of communes and districts that have already earned the new countryside title, higher standards to achieve will be set for them.

As of February, as many as 1,761 communes across the nation had met the new-style rural area criteria, accounting for 19.7 percent. On average, each commune met 12.9 criteria, up 8.2 criteria from 2010, and 2.9 criteria from 2015.

Meanwhile, 17 districts obtained the status, according to the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development.

Vietnam aims to have 50 percent of all communes nationwide meet all the requirements by the end of 2020.-VNA