The minister said under the programme, infrastructure institutions have improved remarkably with a total value of 2.4 quadrillion VND (103.6 billion USD) over the past nine years. He noted that 100 percent of communes nationwide had been connected to the national grid and 99.1 percent of villages have had access to electricity.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong at the Q & A session (Photo: VNA)

However, he admitted that problems remain, particularly rural incomes and environment targets. The formation of production chains and linkages in rural areas has begun but it is limited to some regions.

The Prime Minister has assigned the agriculture sector and agencies concerned to clarify major goals, resources and solutions to outstanding bottlenecks in promoting large-scale production and protecting the environment in rural areas for the 2021-2025 period, he said.

About response to climate change, the minister said under the mid-term investment scheme for sustainable development, mobilizing resources to cope with climate change will be one of the top priorities, adding that the sector will strive to offer more timely and correct forecasts about weather conditions.

Asked about solutions to the gaps among regions in building new-style rural areas as well as in incomes and quality of health care and education, Minister Cuong agreed that the development gap between mountainous and plain regions will be widened without policy adjustment.

He said this matter will receive proper attention when building policies for the 2021-2025.

On the gap in the supply of medical services among regions, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said many communal-level clinics in remote and mountainous areas are now able to perform advanced techniques while the ministry has offered training on family clinic model for communal-level medical stations.

Thanks to official development assistance and the government support, the Health Ministry is building nearly 2,000 medical stations in disadvantaged communes, and will inaugurate 20 model stations nationwide.

She added that the State has paid for health insurance for poor residents in remote and mountainous areas./.
BTA