|President Truong Tan Sang at theTree Planting Festival 2016 in memory of late President Ho Chi Minh. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Hoanh
TUYEN QUANG (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang yesterday kicked off the Tree Planting Festival 2016 in memory of late President Ho Chi Minh.
The ceremony was held in Hoang Khai Commune, Yen Son District, northern Tuyen Quang Province, which has worked hard to grow and protect forests over the years.
Last year, Viet Nam planted 246,500 hectares of forest and go the public involved in the management of about 6.7 million hectares of forest, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said at the event.
The number of violations of the Law on Forest Protection and Development fell by 15 per cent and losses caused by deforestation fell 22 per cent from 2014, Phat noted.
Exports of forestry products hit over US$7.2 billion in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 10.2 per cent, the minister added.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Sang hailed the Tree Planting Festival as a fine Vietnamese tradition on the first days of the Lunar New Year that contributed to environmental protection and socio-economic development.
The president called on local authorities and residents to work together on the campaign and have better awareness of forest protection and deforestation prevention.
Later the same day, President Sang visited and offered incense at the Tan Trao National Historical Site in Son Duong District.
Also yesterday, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung lauded collectives and individuals working for the legislature for their outstanding fulfilment of large tasks in 2015, especially in lawmaking.
While paying Tet visits to deputies and staff of the assembly's Office, the Council for Ethnic Affairs and other NA committees, the chief legislator called for greater efforts to successfully organise the election of deputies to the 14th NA and people's councils at all levels for the 2016-21 tenure while completing codes and laws to actualise the 2013 Constitution.
He noted his hope that the lawmaking body's decisions over the past 13 tenures would create a firm foundation for the next legislature to fulfil its tasks and earn the confidence of the Party and people.
The agencies were urged to take an active part in realising the 12th National Party Congress's Resolution and focus on organising the 13th NA's last meeting, which is due to outline targets for national socio-economic development over the next five years.
Yesterday, the country's leaders also visited State bodies and businesses on the first official working day of the New Year 2016.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited and conveyed his New Year greetings to staff at the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) and the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies.
Speaking during his visit to the SBV, the Deputy PM noted that Viet Nam's average economic growth was expected to increase between 6.5 and 7 per cent in the five years following the signings of various trade agreements, posing the country both opportunities and challenges.
"This requires the whole banking system to continue contributing to the stability of the macro-economy, foreign exchange, interest rates and foreign currency reserves," said Phuc.
"The whole sector needs to uphold the lessons leaned from the monetary management policy applied last year, better administer commercial banks, have solutions to increase foreign currency reserves and continue maintaining the value of the dong," he said.
Speaking at the Bank for Social Policies, Deputy PM Phuc asked the bank to continue renewing its operations and check lending procedure to provide adequate financial assistance for households to develop production.
On the eight day of the lunar New Year yesterday, Politburo member and Chairman of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan offered incense at the Presidential Palace, paying homage to President Ho Chi Minh. — VN