HCM CITY (VNS)— The living standards of people in HCM City's suburban areas have improved significantly thanks to the "new rural areas" national programme, delegates told a review meeting on Sunday.
In Xuan Thoi Thuong commune in Hoc Mon District, infrastructure and people's livelihoods have improved, with many transport projects, healthcare and cultural facilities, schools, and others operating there, Van Thi Bach Tuyet, chairwoman of the district People's Committee, said.
Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune is one of six communes in the city chosen to participate in the programme, the others being Tan Thong Hoi and Thai My in Cu Chi District, Tan Nhat in Binh Chanh District, Nhon Duc in Nha Be District, and Ly Nhon in Can Gio District.
The programme seeks to develop infrastructure and production, improve livelihoods, protect the environment, ensure social security, culture, and other aspects by creating jobs, providing loans, and training people.
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Phuoc Trung, director of the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the six communes have fulfilled all of the programme's 19 criteria related to transport, irrigation, housing, poverty mitigation, and political and social security among others.
The average per capita income in these communes has risen significantly, he said, adding that in Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune for instance it increased to VND32.2 million (US$1,524) from VND29.5 million ($1,396) a year earlier.
Huynh Cach Mang, chairman of the Can Gio District People's Committee, said living standards have improved and every house has access to the power grid as well as clean water.
Last year the city expanded the pilot programme to 50 other communes. Trung said it carried out more than 1,500 traffic, irrigation, electricity, and educational works and rebuilt 730 dilapidated houses at a cost of VND3.9 trillion ($184.7 million).
Besides, more than VND7.4 trillion ($355 million) was invested in agricultural development to improve people's income and reduce poverty, he said.
The poverty ratio – households with a yearly average income of below VND12 million ($568) are classified as poor — has fallen from 5.77 per cent in 2010 to 1.15 per cent now, he said.
This year the city would ensure that at least 17 other communes fulfill a minimum of 17 of the criteria, and all other communes meet at least 15, he said.
Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, said the city also targets replacement of all dilapidated and temporary houses this year as part of the programme.
Trung said the city needs around VND9.78 trillion ($463.2 million) to invest in basic infrastructure, restructuring production, education, healthcare, and cultural activities in these areas this year. — VNS