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...]

Cao Bang aims to reduce poverty

Northeast Cao Bang province has recently carried out a number of socio-economic programmes and projects in a bid to reduce poverty and boost local economic development. Their efforts include implementing the national target programme on poverty reduction; the socio-economic development programme for underprivileged communes in mountainous, remote and isolated areas (phase 2 of the Programme 135); and the programme for rapid and sustainable poverty reduction in the 62 poorest districts, (Programme 30A). The locality has also provided direct financial and housing assistance to local poor households for settlement and production development. In 2014, nearly 400 impoverished households were provided new homes worth a total of 8.3 billion VND (388,000 USD). Another 130,000 individuals were provided with preferential loans totalling 12.7 billion VND (593,000 USD) to stimulate economic development. Nearly 10,000 targeted households have also received production-aided financial … [Read more...]

Dong Nai: Soft loans provided to build rural grids

The People’s Committee of southern Dong Nai province will provide the Dong Nai Power Co. Ltd (PC Dong Nai) with soft loans to construct rural medium-voltage grids in the province. The 68 billion VND (3.16 million USD) loans will be allocated for building 126 kilometres in electric networks and 97 transformer stations to support local agricultural production. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, the construction will be concentrated in Trang Bom, Xuan Loc and Cam My districts as part of a plan by local authorities to develop livestock breeding and large-scaled agricultural production in these areas. A grid supplying medium-voltage power to two major slaughterhouses in Vinh An town and Thanh Phu commune, Vinh Cuu district will be built with a combined investment of 1.4 billion VND (65,000 USD). PC Dong Nai Deputy Director Do Xuan Tam said thanks to the special loans, the company is able to help improve local infrastructure towards the National Target Programme on … [Read more...]

Bac Lieu focuses on vocational training for rural labourers

The southern province of Bac Lieu has seen significant achievements in building new rural development through focusing on vocational training for rural labourers. The initiative was praised as one of the key benchmarks towards carrying out the 19 criteria for new-style rural development. According to Deputy Chief of the provincial Steering Committee for the National Target Programme on New Rural Development, Luong Ngoc Lan, improving rural incomes remains the most crucial task. Funds for constructing new style rural areas were mobilised from community contributions as State funding remains limited, necessitating more proactive involvement from localities, he added. Over the past two years, the province has provided over 440 vocational training courses and 750 technical training classes, as well as new manufacturing model transfer classes for rural labourers, attracting more than 23,300 participants. The efforts have helped generate increased income and create jobs for rural … [Read more...]

Social News 15/3

Resettlement efforts for Lai Chau hydropower plant accelerating Over 1,800 of the 2,000 households living in the area designated to be the reservoir of Lai Chau hydro-power plant have been relocated to new resettlement areas in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. These areas in Nam Nhun and Muong Te districts have access to paved roads, schooling, electricity, power and other welfare facilities like cultural houses and medical stations. The displaced will also receive farming land to ease their transition. The remaining households will move into their new homes by the second quarter of this year, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment. Nearly 90 percent of the funds allocated for compensation has been disbursed, said Acting Chief of the resettlement project Tran Van Dung. Construction on the 1,200MW Lai Chau hydropower plant began in early 2011 in Nam Hang commune, Nam Nhun district, with a total investment of 35.7 trillion VND (1.7 billion … [Read more...]

Joining Hands in New Rural Construction

With the motto "State and people working together", the new rural construction in Tuyen Quang has brought positive results. The province also makes appropriate changes in the structure of agricultural plants and animals. Practices of the revolution proved that all things can be done by people’s strength. Within narrow scope of a district, a commune, a village, once you create a consensus of the people, any difficulty can be overcome. The new rural construction has been implemented across the country; the first step has achieved important results; through which we can draw many lessons. In particular, the lessons of consensus have deep meaning and cannot be taken lightly. In many places, typically in Tuyen Quang, thanks to the consensus, many difficulties and obstacles have been overcome. One of the successes of the new rural construction in the last years of Tuyen Quang province is boosting production and raising incomes for people. According to statistics, the province has … [Read more...]

Binh Phuoc: Impoverished, ethnic minority groups fight malaria

The Global Fund to Fight Malaria coordinated with the Phuoc Long town medical centre in southern Binh Phuoc province to provide locals with mosquito nets between March 10 and 11. A total of 24,500 insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed to impoverished and ethnic minority households as well as other disadvantaged individuals in the town. The charitable event was intended to reduce the number of malaria cases from mosquitoes, particularly during the upcoming rainy season, as part of a plan to fight malaria in 2015 sponsored by the Global Fund. The National Target Programme on Healthcare has been effectively implemented by the province in recent years, particularly in communicable disease prevention with no recorded outbreaks. Leprosy, poliomyelitis and neonatal tetanus have also been eliminated, significantly reducing the mortality rate of newborn babies and children under 5 years old in the locality. Medical facilities and equipment have been substantially improved.-VNA … [Read more...]

Social News 10/3

Outstanding ASEAN businesswomen congratulated A ceremony honoring 36 outstanding ASEAN businesswomen, as part of the first ASEAN Businesswomen Forum with the participation of more than 200 female entrepreneurs, was held in Hanoi on March 7. It is aimed to praise businesswomen’s contributions to socio-economic development in their countries and the region. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated businesswomen and their great achievements, affirming that the country will always create good conditions for local and international enterprises’ development. The award that highly evaluated female entrepreneurs’ efforts helps encourage women in economic development in the country and the region. Party leader visits Tra Vinh province Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited Tieu Can district in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on March 8 to inspect the locality’s preparations for the Party Congress at all levels. Located in the west of … [Read more...]

Party chief directs Soc Trang towards economic growth

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (left) (Source: VNA) Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has suggested the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang develop its economy beyond agriculture, including industry, tourism, and services by utilising any and all available resources. With strongholds in farming and fisheries, Soc Trang needs to reduce the rate of impoverished households while addressing environmental pollution and rising sea levels, the Party chief told local authorities during a working session on March 9, adding that workforce quality should be improved upon in the name of industrialisation and modernisation. As the all-level Party Congresses ahead of the 12 th National Party Congress are quickly approaching, he urged the province to push Party build-up forward in tandem with expanding a campaign on studying and following the late President Ho Chi Minh’s moral examples. At the same time, initiatives to stamp out social vices like corruption, bureaucracy, … [Read more...]

Vietnam to be more active in int’l efforts to respond to climate change

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang (Photo: VNA) Vietnam should play a more active role in international efforts to respond to climate change, instead of just calling for assistance from international organisations, said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang. In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on prioritised response programmes in 2015, the minister said responding to climate change is both an urgent and long-term task for the country, citing forecasts that Vietnam is one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change by the end of this century. According to the minister, the Mekong Delta—the nation’s largest rice granary— is among the three deltas hardest hit by the phenomenon, while climate change is also directly affecting 28 coastal localities and the Red River Delta. The National Committee on Climate Change Response, headed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and relevant agencies … [Read more...]

Social News 9/3

Japan provide $580,000 for six projects The Japanese General Consulate in HCM City on March 6 held a contract-signing ceremony on the provision of 580,000 USD for six projects in the fields of health, education, and environment in Vietnam. Two of the projects will build the Ea Tir primary school in Binh Minh hamlet, Ea H’leo commune in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and upgrade the nursery school, the primary school, and the secondary school in Phuoc Tien commune, Bac Ai district, the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan. The health projects are to purchase equipment for the General Hospital in Tra Cu district in the southern Tay Ninh province, the reproductive health care centre in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan and the health centre in Giang Thanh district in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. The only environment project involves the construction of a water treatment system in Hung Thanh commune, Thap Muoi district in the Mekong Delta … [Read more...]

Tien Giang: CHOBA project helps improve rural sanitation

The Community Hygiene Output-Based Aid (CHOBA) Programme in the southern province of Tien Giang has yielded significant achievements, according to the local Woman’s Union. As many as 8,300 sanitary toilets have been built under the programme since 2012 in 55 communes of the province, with a total expenditure of over 19.5 billion VND (929,000 USD). According to Family-Society Department Manager of the provincial Women’s Union Ho Thi Tuyet Hong, the programme was designed to improve hygienic conditions for women and children in line with the goals of the National Target Programme for Rural Water and Sanitation through 2020. The project helps improve hygiene in impoverished communities and contributes socially and economically, especially in building new-style rural areas, she added. The CHOBA project, funded by the East Meets West foundation, assists impoverished and disadvantaged families in building new sanitary toilets to protect the local environment, reduce … [Read more...]

Social News 6/3

Old teacher holds free class for border children in An Giang A retired teacher has been offering free classes to poor children of mountainous An Giang Province for 18 years. Nong Na Nuong, 66, lives in a charity house in Vinh Tam Hamlet of Vinh Trung Commune in Tinh Bien District, and gets no pension because she had to quit teaching because of health problems in 1997. She gets support from a relative and her neighbours. But none of that has diminished her passion to teach. "I had worked as a primary teacher for 20 years before opening this free class for local poor children," she said. She teaches Vietnamese language and mathematics, at primary school level, and she attracts 10-15 students -- as many as 20 during summer. "We really admire teacher Nuong for her enthusiasm for education," siad Le Thi Diem, the mother of one of the students. "She refuses any tuition fees even though she has her own economic and health problems." Many of her students are ethnic Kkmer, and sometimes … [Read more...]

Social News 3/3

Passengers get refunds for long flight delays Airlines will have to refund fares and other charges to passengers of those flights at least five hours later than scheduled if requested, according to a new circular of the Ministry of Transport. Circular 81/2014/TT-BGTVT with effect from on March 1 regulates that airlines are responsible for providing passengers with full and updated information about their long-delayed flights, along with food and accommodation for the affected passengers. For flights postponed for two hours or longer, airlines must arrange appropriate flights for the affected passengers to travel to their destinations. In case of flights delayed for more than five hours, airlines shall refund fares and related fees to passengers. The circular also specifies that if flights are canceled, operators must announce the reasons and provide the affected passengers with accommodation and food. The number of delayed flights soared at this year’s Tet (Lunar New Year) … [Read more...]

HCM City: Additional 27 communes recognised as new-style rural area

An additional 27 communes in five districts in Ho Chi Minh City have been recognised as new rural development communes. The declaration was made at a conference reviewing the implementation of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development in 2014 by the city’s Steering Committee on March 2. At the event, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai requested authorised bodies to focus on and prioritise manufacturing development and socio-technological infrastructural projects. The city targets to have all 56 communes meeting all 19 criteria for new-style rural development by May 2015. According to Director of the city’s Department of Agricultural and Rural Development Nguyen Phuoc Trung, all 56 communes are very near accomplishing the criteria set forth in the New Rural Development Plan. After six years of programme implementation, the city has seen significant achievements in over 1,100 transportation projects and 321 constructed or … [Read more...]

Tay Ninh allocates G-bonds to impoverished border communes

The People’s Committee of the southern province of Tay Ninh has allocated 44 billion VND (2.1 million USD) worth of government bond capital to 20 impoverished border communes under the National Target Programme on New Rural Development. Of the total capital, the province has allotted 28 billion VND (1.3 million USD) for 12 border communes in Tan Bien, Tan Chau, Chau Thanh, Ben Cau, and Trang Bang district worth 2 billion VND (95,000 USD) each. Long Khanh commune in Ben Cau district has received 6 billion VND (285,700 USD) as a 2015 focus commune to build a new-style rural area. The remaining funding will be distributed to 7 other border communes. In an attempt to maximise the use of the government bond- sourced capital, the provincial People’s Committee has requested authorised bodies to examine projects and speed up implementation of investment categories in accordance with regulations. In 2014, six Tay Ninh communes were recognised as new rural communes. The … [Read more...]

VN population growth presents challenges

VietNamNet Bridge – Nguyen Van Tan, vice chief of the Ministry of Health's General Office for Population and Family Planning, spoke with Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about solutions to problems created by demographic changes. Against a backdrop of low socio-economic development and increasingly limited resources, Viet Nam is experiencing some dramatic demographic changes. How is this situation affecting the nation's development? There are now 63 million people of working age (15-64), that is roughly 69 per cent of our national population of over 90 million. This labour force has great potential to create material wealth for the country and to invest in development. Altogether they have tremendous purchasing power and constitute a huge market. Their abundance, typical industriousness and competitive labour costs make Viet Nam an attractive destination for international investors. On the other hand, a great number of working-age people newly entering the … [Read more...]

Vietnam sets target for sustainable poverty alleviation

Vietnam aims to reduce the rate of poor households by 1-1.5 percent each year under the updated standards of poverty between 2016 and 2020, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). The updated standards of poverty, currently under development and will take effect from 2016, extend beyond the use of income as the only determination of poverty to include the minimum living standard and the access to basic social needs. MOLISA Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said the ministry will focus on developing new poverty criteria on a multi-dimensional approach while advising the government in revising its poverty reduction mechanism and policies to limit investment dispersal and ensure priority is given to mountainous and ethnic minority areas. According to Direction No 23/CT-TTg issued on August 5, 2014 by the Prime Minister, only two national target programmes will be implemented between 2016 and 2020: the Sustainable Poverty Alleviation Target Programme and … [Read more...]