|Hòa Bình Province’s Mai Hịch new-style rural commune residents ride bicycle on new road. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Local people must be involved in the construction process for new-style rural areas, Hoàng Xuân Thành from BTAP (Budget Transparency Accountability Participation) Coalition stated at a seminar in Hà Nội yesterday.
Thành and his team from BTAP conducted a survey to judge how local people and social organisations feel about the efficiency of the National Target Programme for Building New-style Rural Areas in the provinces of Hòa Bình (north) and Quảng Trị (central).
By June this year, Hòa Bình had 51 new-style rural communes. It targets having 76 in 2020 and it currently has 120 communes in total. Quảng Trị had 42 new-style communes. Its target is 65 by 2020 and it has a total of 117 communes.
According to the surveyors, the two provinces have done a good job securing residents’ contributions to the programme in the form of both money and labour.
Thành said this success was down to the publicity and transparency of the project. Local people were consulted to determine their level and method of contribution. They agreed on exemptions or reductions for old people and under-privileged families that were unable to contribute.
“Local labour groups were assigned to perform a number of construction tasks in their locality,” Thành said.
However, some interviewed residents said they lacked information on the project’s plan, budget and timeframe.
“Investing several billion đồng to build a communal culture house is not necessary,” said a resident in Mai Hịch Commune, Hòa Bình Province. “We only need vacant land for community activities. The important thing is that incomes change.”
Hòa Bình Province Farmers’ Association said new-style rural communes must have updated production scales and landscapes.
Finding residents who will reside in the new areas should be a focus of the programme in the coming years, said Bạch Quốc Khang from the National-level Science and Technology Programme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In 2010, the Prime Minister approved the national target programme for the 2016 to 2020 period with the goal of lifting the livings standards for people, developing socio-economic infrastructure and achieving proper economic restructuring and production modes. It aims to create a democratic, equal and stable rural society imbued with traditional cultural values.
Total State investment capital for the programme is estimated to be at least VNĐ193 trillion (US$8.66 billion). — VNS