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...]

Forum discusses business growth in rural areas

A forum featuring the role of businesses in new rural areas took place in Hanoi on May 22, where an expert urged farmers to adopt a more commercial mindset. Two major questions for Vietnam’s agriculture is quality and quality control, said Director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, Tran Dinh Thien, adding that large-scale production will provide the answer with farmers still playing the key role while businesses work as the organizer. Another expert, Nguyen Dinh Bich, said firms need to work closely with farmers and cooperatives to establish farm produce distribution channels. Since the National Target Programme on new rural development was launched five years ago, the nation has recognised 785 districts as new rural areas, or 8.8 percent of the total. However, businesses’ investment accounted for just 3.71 percent of the total capital disbursed for the programme, while the target is 20 percent Nguyen Van Tien, head of the Agriculture Department under the … [Read more...]

Voters’ proposals heard at NA’s ninth session

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, Nguyen Thien Nhan, delivered a report summarising the opinions and proposals of voters across the country at the opening ceremony of the 13th National Assembly’s ninth session in Hanoi on May 20. At the opening ceremony of the 13th National Assembly’s ninth session. According to Nhan, in preparation for the session, the committee collected a total of 3,854 opinions and proposals from voters and members of the public. The opinions cover a wide range of issues, such as agriculture; farming and rural development; living standards and social welfare; environmental protection; education; healthcare; and corruption. Nhan said that voters appreciated the outcomes of the national target programme on new-style rural area building, which was initiated by the Government in 2010 and has seen localities develop their infrastructure, improve production capacity, construct public works, protect their environment and … [Read more...]

PM greenlights council to review development plans

VietNamNet Bridge – The Prime Minister has approved the establishment of a council to assess all national target programmes on rural development and sustainable poverty reduction for the period of 2016-20. The council will be responsible for organising the assessment of investment plans for various programmes and submitting them to the Prime Minister for consideration and to the National Assembly for approval. Its tasks will also include organising the feasibility studies of various programmes and submitting their reports to the Prime Minister. The council will have the authority to ask organisations or units preparing investment plans to provide relevant documents and information on various programmes to serve the assessment process. Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Trung will be the council's chairman and deputy chairman, respectively. The members of the council will comprise the heads of the … [Read more...]

Seventy excellent mathematics researches awarded

The Vietnam Institute for Advance Study in Mathematics and the Ministry of Education and Training announced the awarding of 70 excellent mathematics researches in Ho Chi Minh City on May 16. At an event held at the University of Natural Sciences under the HCM City National University, they also presented 475 scholarships from the National Target Programme on the development of mathematics to maths students from high schools and universities across the country. In its third year this year, the awarded researches were selected from 210 mathematics works published on international mathematics journals in the international science indexing from 2013-2014. According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga, the Ministry has spent 25 billion VND in awards to outstanding mathematics researches and maths students with excellent records over the past three years. A finding released recently by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of Science and … [Read more...]

Workshop discusses computer usage, internet access project result

A workshop was held in Hanoi on May 15 to review the outcomes of the "Improving Computer Usage and Public Internet Access in Vietnam" project and discuss ways to maintain its sustainability. The project, launched by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is being carried out from 2011-2015 in 1,900 access points including cultural post offices and provincial and district libraries in 40 provinces across the country. Since then, the project has enabled community members, including those in poor and remote areas, to improve their lives through the use of computers and Internet access. It has also contributed to developing the Government’s national target programme on building new rural areas by establishing a commune-level library network. However, the project is still facing difficulties and challenges, such as geographically disadvantaged locations, poor infrastructure and unqualified management … [Read more...]

Social News 14/5

PM approves assessment council for national programmes Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the establishment of an Assessment Council to assess all national target programmes on rural development and sustainable poverty reduction for the period of 2016-20. The council will be responsible for organising the assessment of investment plans for various programmes and submitting them to the Prime Minister for consideration and to the National Assembly for approval. Its tasks will also include organising the feasibility studies of various programmes and submitting their reports to the Prime Minister for consideration. The council will have the authority to ask organisations or units preparing investment plans to provide relevant documents and information on various programmes to serve the assessment process. If necessary, the council can also ask organisations or units to complete their documents to meet assessment demands and consider and make decisions on assessment plans and … [Read more...]

Few Companies Interested in Agriculture

Agriculture plays an important role in ensuring national food security and poverty reduction, generating a good source of forex earning and ensuring political and social stability in Vietnam. However, Vietnam’s agriculture still has a lot of limitations and lags far behind its competitors in the region. To address existing weaknesses, the participation of the business community is an important solution. This issue was presented at the Agribusiness Development Forum and the Announcement Ceremony of Annual Business Report 2014 themed "Agribusiness Development". The forum was held in Hanoi by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in cooperation with the Economic Commission of the National Assembly, the Steering Committee for the National Target Programme for New Rural Construction and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The report said, "The participation of businesses in agriculture sector is now still limited. Only about 1 percent of enterprises operating in Vietnam … [Read more...]

PM approves assessment council for national programmes

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the establishment of an Assessment Council to assess all national target programmes on rural development and sustainable poverty reduction for the period of 2016-20. Many households have escaped poverty thanks to loans from poverty reduction funds. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh The council will be responsible for organising the assessment of investment plans for various programmes and submitting them to the Prime Minister for consideration and to the National Assembly for approval. Its tasks will also include organising the feasibility studies of various programmes and submitting their reports to the Prime Minister for consideration. The council will have the authority to ask organisations or units preparing investment plans to provide relevant documents and information on various programmes to serve the assessment process. If necessary, the council can also ask organisations or units to complete their documents to meet assessment … [Read more...]

Tra Vinh Seeking Positive Methods in New Countryside Construction

Under the leadership and direction of the Central Party, plus the effort and determination of the Party, army, people and business community of Tra Vinh province, the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction has produced positive results. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Tri Dung, Member of the Central Party Committee, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Head of the Steering Committee for the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction of Tra Vinh province, on the results and methods of implementing and orientating the new rural construction in the province. Thanh Kiet reports. Could you please introduce some outstanding results of the National Target Programme for New Countryside Construction, after four years of implementation? In four years of carrying out the New Countryside Construction Programme, Tra Vinh province has achieved many outstanding results, such as: - The awareness of Party committees, governmental … [Read more...]

Climate change response programme shows remarkable outcomes

Waves break a part of the concrete embankment along the coast in Hiep Thanh commune, Duyen Hai district, the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh (Photo: VNA) The National Target Programme on Responding to Climate Change from 2011-2015 has shown remarkable results since its approval by the Prime Minister in 2008. As of 2014, the programme built and updated the climate change and rising sea level scenarios while evaluating the impact of climate change on each field and region and promulgating action plans for each ministry, sector and locality. Organisation and management has been strengthened and legal policies were designed to mitigate greenhouse gas effects, according to the National Committee on Climate Change Response. Vietnam’s efforts were supported by the international community who provided over 1.3 billion USD to counter environmental changes over the past five years. A number of adaptive measures were carried out, such as building flood-proof houses, treating salt … [Read more...]

Social News 4/5

Traffic police fine driver of overloaded coach The central Thanh Hoa Province's traffic police yesterday fined a sleeper coach driver, Le Van Phuong, VND40 million (US$1,800) for carrying 111 passengers, 69 more than his coach's registered capacity. The driver was caught when he was driving his 42-seater coach on a stretch of National Highway No 1A in Bim Son Town. The passengers on the coach were mainly students and workers returning to Ha Noi after enjoying a six-day holiday from April 28 to May 3, to celebrate the Hung Kings anniversary (April 28), Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1). The police also seized the coach for seven days. Fine imposed for ignoring forest fees Individuals and organisations will receive fines of up to VND50 million (US$2,300) for not paying fees for forest environmental services, under an amendment to a Government decree. This is the first time a fine has been issued for individuals and organisations that don't pay forest environmental … [Read more...]

Rural areas grapple to meet environmental criteria

Criteria related to environmental conservation has become the most difficult to achieve among the 19 criteria of the national target programme on building new-style rural areas, with only 26 percent of the communes under the programme currently meeting this requirement. The programme, initiated by the Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural areas of Vietnam. The environmental criterion stipulates a commune must ensure 75 percent of its households use water that meets national quality standards and all production and business facilities satisfy environmental requirements. It must also ensure a green and clean local environment, build graveyards in line with urban planning, and collect and treat waste and wastewater properly. According to the programme’s steering committee, more than 1,000 centralised clean water facilities, 500 dumping grounds and 1,200 drainage ditches have been upgraded in rural areas … [Read more...]

Ha Nam responds to national clean water week

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Farmers Union (VFU) have launched nationwide activities in response to the National Week Clean Water and Environmental Hygiene 2015 (April 29-May 6). At the launch ceremony held in the northern province of Ha Nam, Dr. Nguyen Duy Luong, Vice Chairman of VFU’s Central Committee said clean water and environmental sanitation not only relate to the living conditions of each person but also impact the development of any country. He affirmed that the VFU will intensify communication effort to popularise the Party and State’s policies concerning the issue, in order to raise public awareness of economical use of water resources and rural environment protection. Implementing the National Target Programme on Rural Clean Water and Environmental Hygiene during 2012-1015, b y the end of 2014, up to 84.5 percent of rural population across the country areas have access to hygienic water, while 63 percent of rural … [Read more...]

Funds for HIV/AIDS fight start to dry up

Organisations involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and control need to chase funding as sources are drying up, a workshop in Hanoi on April 24 was told. The two-day workshop was titled Reviewing Financial Mechanisms and Building New Ones organised by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA). The workshop discussed a reduction in funding from international sources and the State budget. There is now just enough to meet 50 percent of HIV/AIDS project needs at a time when activities are increasing. The workshop focused on reviewing all laws and Government documents for financial mechanisms and policies related to HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Dr Pham Van Tan, VUSTA Vice President, said that based on what was found, new solutions would have to be sought. Hoang Thi Hien, a member on the National Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, said that the State-funded National Target Programme on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control for … [Read more...]

Clean water project launched in Tra Vinh

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Mekong Delta of Tra Vinh on April 25th began construction on a clean water factory with capacity of 50 cubic metres per hour in Dinh An town, Tra Cu district. Covering an area of 1,500 square metres, the project has a total investment of VND14 billion (USD650,000), of which, VND8.4 billion (USD390,000) came from the National Target Programme for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. The factory includes two pump stations, two wells, a water filter, and a 300-cubic metre storage tank. Once operational in December, the project will bring clean water to more than 2,000 households in the locality. In 2015, Tra Vinh plans to invest VND21 billion (USD1 million) to build and upgrade eight clean water facilities. The province now has 165 clean water supply stations in rural areas, serving about 72,000 households./. … [Read more...]

VFF President works with Phu Tho province

VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan speaks at the session. (baophutho.vn) NDO - Politburo member and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee paid a working visit to the northern province of Phu Tho on April 22. Speaking at the session with local authorities, VFF President Nhan praised Phu Tho on effectively implementing movements and campaigns launched by the VFF over the past years. He asked the provincial People’s Committee to pay more attention to carrying out the movement on building cultural life in residential areas, in association with the national target programme for building new-style rural areas. It is also necessary to prioritise sustainable poverty mitigation, as well as continue to mobilise resources to promote the ‘Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods’ campaign in a more effective manner, the VFF President noted. Inspection and monitoring projects in the fields of environment and national resources should … [Read more...]

Social News 22/4

National vaccine safety surveillance programme meets WHO requirements Vietnam’s surveillance of adverse events following vaccination meets the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said experts from the organisation. After a one-week mission to Vietnam from April 9 to review the implementation of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the country, the WHO team announced that all six components under Vietnam’s NRA system have passed the check with good results. The team, including 14 experts from the WHO and two observers from Russia urged the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health and the post-vaccination monitoring systems at all levels to continue their efforts in the field. During the checking process, the team made field trips to the southern province of Tay Ninh where they had working sessions with the provincial preventive medicine centre, the municipal medical centre of Tay Ninh City and the medical station of … [Read more...]

90 percent of Ha Nam rural households to access safe water

Up to 90 percent of rural households in northern Ha Nam province are expected to have access to hygienic water by the end of 2015, an increase from 85 percent in late 2014. All communal medical stations will also have hygienic water and toilets within this year, rising from 95 percent last year, said Deputy Director of the Ha Nam Department of Planning and Investment Phan Van Trinh. The province has built and upgraded 22 rural water facilities since 2011, 12 of which have been put into use, he added. To achieve the targets, relevant provincial agencies have coordinated to carry out the National Target Programme on Rural Clean Water and Environmental Hygiene. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development steered the building of water supply facilities and hygienic livestock cages and the Department of Health managed the construction of standard toilets at private homes and medical stations. Ha Nam has also successfully called for private investments in building water … [Read more...]