|A mother washes her daughter's hands in northern mountainous Lao Cai Province's Nam Cang Commune. The Government plans to pour over $940 million to boost socio-economic development in disadvantaged communes by 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
HA NOI (VNS) — As many as 2,275 disadvantaged communes in 48 provinces and cities nationwide will receive funding of VND21 trillion (US$942.5 million) from the State budget to boost socio-economic development during the 2016 to 2020 period.
The Prime Minister has approved the investment list for the programme on socio-economic development in especially disadvantaged communes in mountainous remote areas, which is usually known as Programme 135, first launched in 1998.
Of the 2,275 communes, 2,240 will receive investment sourced from the central State budget, while the other 35 in Quang Ninh, Ha Noi, Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria–Vung Tau will be subsidised from local budgets.
The most disadvantaged communes are in northern provinces of Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lang Son, Son La and Dien Bien and central Thanh Hoa Province.
The funding will be used to buy seeds for poor farmers, improve programme management capacity and develop key infrastructure.
The programme expects to help increase the average income to VND 26 million per person per year in 2020, five times higher than that of 2011. It also expects the poverty rate would reduce by 4 per cent yearly, all families can use electricity and 70 per cent of cultivation area gets enough water.
According to Co-ordination Office of Programme 135 under State Committee for Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Area Affairs, the fund is allocated based on criteria including development level, population, poverty rate, previous fund disbursement rate and accountability.
In the last two years, the programme assisted 2,331 communes with total funding of nearly VND7.8 trillion ($348 million). However, the funding allocation was the same to all localities, which is said to cause inequality and ineffectiveness.
In 2015, 80 communes from 23 provinces and cities were recognised as having fulfilled targets of the programme. They included 12 each from Binh Phuoc and Thai Nguyen, eight from Soc Trang, and seven each from Lao Cai and Tra Vinh.
The Government's Programme 135, launched in 1999 under the Prime Minister's Decision 135/1998/QD-TTg on July 31, 1998, aims to improve living conditions for rural residents with a particular focus on ethnic minority communities. — VNS