Myanmar has set its hope on reducing poverty to 16% in 2015 in a bid to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, with Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham saying that the country’s poverty index was 32% in 2005 and it was down to 26% in 2010.
An event took place in Mawlamyine, Mon State, on Tuesday, focusing on rural development and higher socioeconomic status, officials said.
According to the vice president, Mon State saw 22% of poverty rate in 2005, which dropped to 16% five years later. Poverty rate must be brought down to 11%, he said, referring to the UN MDG.
He called for collective cooperation of the local government and people with the Union Government in the struggle, describing regional stability as essential to regional prosperity.
He explained how the government is striving with all its might for rural development and poverty alleviation and how agricultural machinery will be sold in installments.
He stressed the need to replace ancestral farming equipment with modern machinery for a nation to be prosperious.
As part of developing the cooperative sector and boosting the agricultural sector, the government has pledged thousands of millions of kyats as agricultural spending for farmers to purchase machinery in installments, including agricultural loans, reports said.
The vice president expressed his belief that such sales would enable farmers to save time, money and energy and as a result earn more income so as to afford health, education and social expenses.
Technical skills and capitals are major concern for urban and rural people, he said, adding that cooperative associations are disbursing low-interest loans in a bid to help them stand on their own feet.
He admitted the need to reclaim new farmland and distribute farming techniques that ensure high yields.
The Ministry of Cooperatives, in partnership with Korea’s Daedong Industrial Co., has introduced the installment plan for purchase of agricultural gear.
On the occasion, Union Minister for Cooperatives U Kyaw Hsan presented loans of over K864m for 33 cooperative associations in Mawlamyine township, over K711m for 40 associations in Mudon township, over K379m for 44 associations in Chaungzon township, over K210m for 37 associations in Kyaukmaraw township, and over K132m for 29 associations in Thanbyuzayat township.
Mon State Chief Minister U Ohn Myint presented over K295m for 32 associations in Ye township, over K783m for 40 associations in Thaton township, over K596m for 43 associations, over K858m for 79 associations in Bilin township, and over K882m for 44 associations in Kyaikto township.
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham in a meeting at Yangon General Hospital here on Tuesday urged officials to be frank about what has hindered the speedy completion of the extension and renovation of the hospital, which had been expected to complete last October.
The vice president stressed the need for the speedy completion of the buildings for an emergency unit and a five-storey block, pledging the government’s assistance to overcoming the obstacles encountered during construction.
He heard reports on major and minor repair works, installation of two elevators and a 1000KVA transformer, provision of affordable healthcare to patients and organizational restructuring plans.
He was given a guided tour of the hospital, where he comforted patients and their families.