Viet Nam News
CAO BẰNG — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc yesterday asked authorities in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bằng, and in Trà Lĩnh District in particular, to ensure a happy Tết (Lunar New Year) for everyone, especially the underprivileged.
During a visit to the mountain border district, the Prime Minister spent time talking to local government officials and ethnic minority inhabitants. He stressed that the key task of the locality was to ease the high rate of poverty in the area.
Sharing a 26km terrestrial border with China, Trà Lĩnh has a poverty rate of 36 per cent. Poor households account for more than 18 per cent of the households.
Phúc agreed with a proposal put forth by local authorities for an urban development plan at Trà Lĩnh National Border Gate. He instructed them to take into account the development planning in line with environmental protection and respect for people’s living conditions.
According to the Prime Minister, developing services is the right direction for Cao Bằng Province, in general, and Trà Lĩnh District, in particular, which is consistent with the locality’s advantage of a long contiguous border with China.
“Building the Trà Lĩnh Border Gate into an international border gate is an important direction but needs to be conducted synchronously with strong commodity exports to attract trade,” Phúc said.
The total value of goods imported through the Trà Lĩnh Border Gate in 2011 reached US$65 million, but increased to $500 million last year.
The Prime Minister also noted that government at all levels in the province and the district should pay more attention to the prevention and combating smuggling and commercial fraud. He also underscored authorities’ responsibility for vigilance against hostile forces taking advantage, inciting or inducing people to destroy the region’s peaceful life.
He presented 100 gifts to poor households in the district.
Border gate visit
Also yesterday, PM Phúc visited and talked to officers and soldiers at Trà Lĩnh Border Gate Station, the unit in charge of protecting the border between Việt Nam and China.
Listening to the difficulties and hardships of officers and soldiers at the station, Phúc urged the unit to overcome obstacles and carry out the task of protecting the national border.
The PM also requested the unit to actively engage in preventing smuggling, trade fraud and drug trafficking, especially during the upcoming Tết.
Meeting in Lý Bôn
Phúc also paid a visit to the Lý Bôn Commune in Cao Bằng’s Bảo Lâm District. Bảo Lâm District has a poverty rate of above 60 per cent, while Lý Bôn Commune’s poverty rate is above 34 per cent. The population of 59,000 are mainly ethnic H’mông, Tày, Nùng, Dao, Sán Chỉ and Kinh.
The PM noted that Bảo Lâm District was the poorest, most remote, most isolated and most populated by ethnic minorities. He asked authorities to focus on helping farmers reduce poverty.
“Besides the support of the State, including the capital loans from the Bank of Việt Nam for Social Policies, each household should strive to escape from poverty,” he said. “In addition, the district should maintain and promote ethnic solidarity, preserve order and security, preserve and promote the traditional culture of ethnic minorities,” he said.
The Prime Minister also agreed to support the construction of the Lý Bôn Commune’s office station, as this is the last commune of the district without an office. He also agreed to mobilise ambulances for the Bảo Lâm District.
Regarding 803 households in Lý Bôn Commune which don’t have access to electricity, the PM assigned Electricity of Việt Nam to handle the problem.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister presented 100 gifts from the Việt Nam Red Cross to poor households in the commune.
PM Phúc also attended the inauguration of hydropower plant Bảo Lâm 1 in Lý Bôn Commune. The plant has a capacity of 30MW and power output of about 124 million kWh per year. — VNS