Lawmakers discuss State budget spending priorities

VietNamNet Bridge - National Assembly deputies looked into the spending of the 2013 State budget and the State budget estimates and allocation for the next year at their sitting last Saturday.Photo: TTXVNDiscussing the plan of issuing Government bonds and allocating the capital to important projects in the 2014-16 period, deputies agreed to prioritise capital to projects on National Highway 1A expansion and National Highway 14 construction. They suggested total investment in a number of sub-projects should be reviewed and their design should be adjusted so as to cut wasteful expenditures. In addition, the Government must ensure the progress and quality of projects to prevent exceeding the total funds allocated.The money collected from bond issuance should be instead channelled into hospital and irrigation projects which were slated to be concluded by 2014-2015 and had large effects on the economic development of localities, they said.Deputy Le Van Hoc from Central Highland province of … [Read more...]

Deputies speak up for farmers

When a general debate at the National Assembly was aired live on May 27, nearly half the speakers chided the Government for paying insufficient attention to farmers and rural areas. Deputies from the Mekong Delta pressed the government to ensure preservation of agricultural land. Representatives from the Central Highlands proposed measures to help farmers earn more profit from industrial crops. Though some deputies addressed public debt and disorder in mining industry, farmers' hunger and poverty were by far the hottest topic. Deputy Nguyen Huu Phuoc from Ben Tre in the heart of the Mekong Delta ventured that the average farmer earns just 500,000 dong (around $25) a month in cash income, just enough to scrape along, and not nearly enough to accumulate capital. Phuoc said that only when farmers have more land can they escape from hunger and poverty. Up to 70 percent of the population are farmers, 60 million people, Phuoc estimated. Collectively they farm 9.4 million hectares -- only … [Read more...]

Social News 2/5

Stone-carrying lorries stir up dust, loud noise Heavy lorries carrying stones have been driving around the clock and making a terrible and dusty environment in Phú Mãn Commune, in Hà Nội's Quốc Oai District. Over recent years hundreds of households in the commune, 30km from Hà Nội's centre, have suffered from serious pollution, but local authorities have not helped them. Stone exploitation at local mines was to blame according to local residents; some enterprises have been licensed to exploit stone since 2007. Before 2007, the environment of the six villages in Phú Mãn Commune was healthy, local residents said. Things started to get worse when stone mining began. Local people's daily activities were affected as were schools and health centres by the loud lorries. The 2.7 km main road linking the commune centre with the villages was seriously damaged, causing traffic jams. Early last year, Quốc Oai District authorities invested money from the local budget to upgrade the … [Read more...]

Solutions to waste disposal problem in rural areas proposed

Nam Dinh, April 29 (VNA) – Various waste treatment solutions were proposed at a workshop in Nam Dinh province on April 28 as many rural areas across the country are grappling with environmental pollution. The function was held by the Central Steering Committee for the national target programme on new countryside. It attracted officials from 12 provinces and cities who shared the concern that environmental pollution in many rural areas has reached an alarming level. According to the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), about 67 percent of Vietnam’s population are living in rural areas. They produce more than 13 million tonnes of waste, 1.3 million cubic metres of waste water and 7.5 tonnes of plant protection product containers every year. Over 80 percent of the waste volume has not been collected and treated properly. Meanwhile, about 84 million tonnes of by-products of agricultural activities and chemical fertiliser residue have also contaminated water sources … [Read more...]

National clean water week launched in Thai Nguyen

The national week on rural clean water and environmental hygiene was launched on April 29 in Huong Thuong commune, Dong Hy district, northern Thai Nguyen province, by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD). Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Van Tinh, deputy head of the MARD’s General Department of Irrigation, said that the annual event, annually launched by the Prime Minister from April 29-May 6, has spurred a line-up of activities to protect the environment and water resources for the community’s better health. Photo for illustration Tinh also highlighted that from the end of 2014, El Nino has heated up the country, causing critical drought and saline intrusion in south-central, Central Highlands and Mekong delta regions. Drought is forecast to spread to north-central provinces, affecting local livelihoods, he added. Themed clean water and environmental sanitation in response to climate change, the event is organised to raise the public awareness of … [Read more...]

Religious organisations involved in environmental protection

​The steering committee for the programme debuted in Hanoi on April 15, with the participation of dignitaries of the 14 religions in Vietnam, officials of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Presidents of some local VFF chapters, and representatives of the Nordic Assistance to Vietnam organisation. ​Religious organisations in Vietnam are engaging in a coordination programme on environmental protection and climate change response. The steering committee, set up by the VFFCC, aims to promote religious dignitaries' role in and contribution to environmental protection and climate change response efforts. VFFCC President Nguyen Thien Nhan said environmental protection must be based on people, and it only becomes effective when people are fully aware of the benefits of protecting the environment. As there are many religions in Vietnam, the steering committee has to take into account each religion's features … [Read more...]

Power consumption set to increase

Workers at EVN's Ha Dong Electricity Company check power cables. EVN predicted that electricity consumption in the capital would increase sharply this month due to hot weather. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Electricity consumption in the capital city was forecast to sharply increase this month due to extremely hot weather, said the Electricity of Viet Nam Corporation (EVN). The corporation has also warned that households' bills might be much higher due to the high demand of power this summer. According to the weather forecast agency, people would suffer a severe and prolonged hot weather this summer due to El Nino phenomenon. "There would be hot waves this month and June and July. The hottest temperature might be reached to 40 degrees Celsius," the EVN said. "The hot weather would lead to increase of power consumption", it said. At present, the electric price is calculated in progressive scale. So, the more they use the more they have to pay. People are … [Read more...]

Creating Breakthroughs from “Phu Yen Year of Business 2016”

By choosing 2016 as the "Year of Business", Phu Yen province has proven its profound understanding of awareness of business roles in the economy and shown its determination to build an increasingly attractive investment and business environment. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Hoang Van Tra, Chairman of Phu Yen Provincial People’s Committee, on local socioeconomic development and efforts for a better investment and business climate, especially in 2016. Quoc Hung reports. Could you please brief us on the remarkable socioeconomic development achievements of Phu Yen province in the past few years? In recent years, global and domestic economic volatility dragged on the province’s socioeconomic development. However, with drastic actions and efforts of local people and businesses, Phu Yen province has witnessed remarkable socioeconomic progress. In 2010-2015, the province’s average annual GRDP growth was 11.5 per cent. The economic structure was shifted … [Read more...]

National Health Target Programme records positive results

The Hanoitimes - The National Health Target Programme between 2011-2015, which was deployed through five projects, with satisfactory results recorded in the project for preventing some dangerous diseases. According to the reports heard a conference in Hanoi on April 13, the national target programmes of the health sector in 2011-2015 period helped raise public awareness of the importance of individual and community health care, curbing the number of patients and deaths caused by dangerous diseases and preventing epidemics. Head of Planning and Finance Department under the Health Ministry Nguyen Nam Lien said the ministry was assigned four programmes targeting health care, ensuring food safety, population and family planning, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Specially, the National Health Target Programme was carried out through five projects, gaining satisfactory results in the project for preventing some dangerous diseases. Illustrative image In the past five years, the health … [Read more...]

Environment matters to rural areas during development

Hanoi, April 14 (VNA) – Environment, a criterion in the national target programme on new countryside development, remains a major challenge facing localities nationwide, to fully realise the Government’s initiative, which is meant to boost rural regions. It is among the shortcomings arising from the implementation of the programme between 2010 and 2015, the supervisory delegation of the National Assembly Standing Committee said at a working session on April 13. The programme, launched in 2010, set out 19 criteria for a new-style rural area covering infrastructure, production, living standards, income, culture and others. The supervisory delegation pointed out the gap in the implementation outcomes among regions. Up to 46.4 percent and 42.8 percent of the communes in the Southeast and the Red River Delta have successfully realised all the criteria, respectively. Meanwhile, the rates are much lower in the northern mountainous region (8.2 percent), the Central … [Read more...]

30 – 35 districts nationwide expected to reach new-style rural area status

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam hopes that around 30 – 35 district-level localities will secure the new-style rural area status by the end of this year. In 2016, the country strives to have about 25% of its communes recognised as new-style rural communes when the national target programme on new countryside has entered the sixth year. The national target programme which was initiated by the Government in 2010, aims to give a facelift to rural regions across the country. Its criteria cover infrastructure, production, living standards, income and culture, among others. A district must have at least 75% of its communes meeting all the 19 criteria in order to receive the title of new rural district. Dan Phuong district in Hanoi city was presented the new-style rural area status in 2015. In order to implement these targets, in 2016, the central steering committee for the programme will ask localities nationwide to further assist the communes having met less than five criteria and … [Read more...]

Social News 7/4

Agreement on maritime transport with Myanmar ratified The Government has approved the Agreement on Maritime Transport with Myanmar, which was inked on November 5, 2015. The Government assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to carry out procedures regarding approval and circulation of international regulations and announcement of the valid date of the Agreement. The Government has also ratified the Agreement on vacation labor program with Australia. The MFA will host and cooperate with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to carry out necessary related diplomatic procedures. Vacation labor program creates chances for the two countries' citizens to combine sightseeing and working. People whose entry under this program (no more than 200 people per year) must get a new license issued by the MOLISA to enter Viet Nam and approved by Immigration management agencies. The agency of Vietnam's representative in Australia will be notified to issue multiple entry … [Read more...]

Criteria set for new-style rural areas

The Prime Minister on April 5 issued Decision No. 558/QD-TTg on criteria for new-style rural districts in the 2016-2020 period, as well as regulations on the recognition of provincial towns and cities that have met the standards. Illustrative photo - Source:Internet Aside from setting out new criteria for new-style rural districts, the decision says that in order for a district to be recognised under the designation, all communes must meet rural development standards. The district must also fulfill nine criteria under the programme, namely planning, transportation, irrigation, electricity, health care-culture-education, production, environment, security-social order, and new rural building instructions. Meanwhile, a provincial town or city must have all communes fulfill 19 criteria in order to receive the designation. The national set of criteria regulated in Decision No. 491/QD-TTg, issued in April 2009, are applied to districts that have been under consideration to be … [Read more...]

Vietnam eyes 25 percent of communes with new countryside title

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. A lamp is installed on a rural road - Photo: VNA 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 … [Read more...]

Quang Tri recognises 15 additional new-style rural communes

Quang Tri, March 18 (VNA) – Authorities of the central province of Quang Tri granted certificates recognising another 15 communes as new-style rural areas at a local ceremony on March 17. The figure raised the total number of communes recognised as new-style rural areas to 18, including Vinh Kim and Vinh Thanh in Vinh Linh district; Hai Thuong in Hai Lang district; Tan Hop in Huong Hoa district. During the event, another 16 communes signed agreements demonstrating their determination to accomplish the new-style rural area criteria in 2016. This year, the Quang Tri aims to have 29 communes to become modern. The locality plans to take a number of measures to realise the targets, including mobilising various financial resources in service of the work and conducting communication campaigns to gain wholehearted support from locals, businesses and administrations. Initiatives are encouraged to effectively implement the new-style rural area building programme across the … [Read more...]

Social News 16/3

Hoi An International Food Festival opens The Hoi An International Food Festival "Taste the World", the first of its kind, opened at An Hoi sculpture garden on March 14, attracting 12 chefs from 12 countries worldwide. During the week-long event, the chefs will demonstrate their cooking skills at 12 local restaurants, namely Cargo club, Morning Glory, Inflame club, Mango I, Mango II, Rice Drum, Seafood Garden, Vinh Hung, Seedlings, Mangorooms, Tam Tam and Hai café. The participating restaurants will be decorated and themed to the countries of the visiting chefs, who will prepare traditional dishes from their respective countries. The festival, a new tourism product of Hoi An in 2016, is expected to bring the local cuisine to countries and territories worldwide, thereby popularising the city, its land and people. The ancient city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam was a renowned international trade port in the 17th century where ships from Japan, China, and European … [Read more...]

Hanoi actively prepares to respond to 2016 Earth Hour campaign

The Hanoitimes - In response to the 2016 Earth Hour campaign, Hanoi will hold the event at the August Revolution Square in the evening of March 19. Joining this year's campaign with the theme "Small action - Big meaning", Hanoi aims to joint efforts with the country and the world in the energy saving, environmental protection and prevention of climate change. The campaign will be launched in the districts across the city, including: Hoan Kiem, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Soc Son and Son Tay town. According to Dao Hong Thai, Director of the Energy Conservation Centre of Hanoi, local households saved 241,000 kWh of electricity via the Earth Hour campaign alone and 35 million kWh in total last year. Implementing the National Target Programme on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy, in 2016, Hanoi targets to cut its energy consumption by 2-3% compared to the demand forecast, in pursuit of the goal of decreasing the energy-to-GDP elasticity to 0.95% by 2020 from 1.48% last year. At … [Read more...]

17 districts gain new-styled rural area status

PANO – As of February 2016, Vietnam has 17 districts recognised as new-styled rural areas by the Prime Minister and 7 others seeking the status, announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s coordination office at a conference in Can Tho City on March 11th. Phong Dien district of Can Tho city is among localities seeking the status The office reported that 1,761 communes across the nation have met the new-styled rural area criteria and from 2010 to 2015, over VND 851 trillion was mobilised from state and local budgets and communities for the national target program of building new-styled rural areas. In the new period from 2016 to 2020, more than VND 63 trillion VND from the state budget will be spent to help needy, border, coastal, and island localities meet criteria of new-styled rural areas. By 2020, 50 percent of communes should meet the 19 criteria of rural areas. At least one district in each province and central city will have the status. The … [Read more...]

Northwestern mountainous region records highest poverty rate in Vietnam

The Northwestern mountainous region has the highest number of poor and near-poor households in Vietnam, which account for more than half of its total households, according to preliminary outcomes of a recent survey. The Northeastern region records the second largest rate of poor and near-poor households with 29 percent. The survey, which was released at a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Sustainable Poverty Reduction in Hanoi on March 10, reveals that the Northeastern region records the second largest rate of poor and near-poor households with 29 percent, followed by the Red River Delta and the Southeastern regions, both with less than 10 percent. Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said figures have been collected in almost all localities nationwide in line with poverty standards set for 2016-2020. Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, who is also head of the committee, asked the Ministry of Labour, … [Read more...]

Seminar seeks to improve water management in Ninh Thuan

A consulting workshop to enhance water resource management and urban planning to respond to climate change was held in the central province of Ninh Thuan on March 10. Illustrative Image (Source:xaluan.com) Dr. Robert Mellor from the Southeast Asia Institute for Water Resources and Environment (SAIWRE) said a consulting group from his agency will support Ninh Thuan’s relevant parties in studying causes and impacts of climate change, thus building appropriate plans for long-term urban development and water management in river basins; while fostering links in the field among all-level authorities, the private arena and the community. SAIWRE expert Dao Trong Tu underlined the necessity to improve the capabilities of water resource management and urban planning, saying that this will help increase development opportunities in the context of scarcity of natural resources and dropped financial assistance, generating a necessary development of technology. State management … [Read more...]