At the NA meeting (Photo: VNA)

The report noted that the program is to contribute to rapidly and sustainably spurring socio-economic development in such regions.

It is also to fulfill targets on national defence and security, foreign affairs, environmental protection, and building a strong political system at the grassroots level.

Under the program, socio-economic infrastructure in these regions will have improved by the end of 2025 and the pressing issues faced by ethnic minority and disadvantaged groups been addressed, with more than 16,100 households targeted for inclusion.

Every effort will be made to create ways to earn a living and stabilise the lives of ethnic minority groups in 382 border communes and to raise average annual per capita income among these groups by more than two times as compared to 2020.

The annual rate of poor households in these regions is projected to fall by more than 3 percent.

By 2030, average annual per capita income among these groups is to be half of the national figure, while the poverty rate is to fall to less than 10 percent. Seventy percent of ethnic minority-inhabited and mountainous communes will be recognised as new-style rural areas.

The Government estimates total funding for the program at more than VND137 trillion (USD5.8 billion) for 2021-2025 and VND134 trillion for 2026 - 2030.

Given the huge sums involved, lawmakers suggested prioritising the livelihoods and living standards of ethnic minority groups and essential infrastructure while preparing a feasibility project for the program.

During program implementation, attention should be paid to preserving traditional cultures in these regions, they said.

Do Van Chien, Head of the NA Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, explained that the program is divided into 10 projects.

During the drafting of the feasibility project, the Government will assign tasks in specific projects to ministries and agencies, he added./.