The Government has set to have 1,800 or 20 percent of total communes nationwide meeting all 19 criteria on new-style rural area building, up from an estimated 8.8 percent in this year.

The Government expects to raise the number of communes meeting 15-18 criteria to more than 1,500 or 17.33 percent in next year.

The National Target Programme on New Rural Development has recorded significant progress in 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said a conference to review the programme in Hanoi on December 18.

He hailed localities for taking an active part in the drive with creative in mobilising financial resources and implementing policies in accordance with the local real situation.

To realise the 2015 target, ministries and sectors need focus on the improvement of infrastructure, environmental protection, education and health, while ensuring social order and safety, restructuring agriculture, and preserving cultural values, he said.

The official agreed on the 2016-2020 scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which aim to have 50 percent of the nationwide communes fulfilling new-style rural criteria in 2020.

He also approved the honouring of businesses and entrepreneurs who make great contributions to modernising rural areas.

In 2014, as many as 785 communes are estimated to become new-style rural areas. In addition, 1,285 communes are expected to meet 15-18 out of the 19 criteria for new rural development, and 2,836 others to satisfy 10-14 criteria, according to the programme’s steering committee.

More than 157.8 trillion VND (8.5 billion USD) sourced from the State budget, the credit capital, and the community, was spent on implementing the programme.

Building infrastructure, improving production capacity, constructing public works, protecting the landscape and environment, and promoting local traditions and cultural identities are among the criteria of building new-style rural areas agenda initiated by the Government in 2010.-VNA