HÀ NỘI — Coordinating economic and social policies and working to ensure that economic growth is accompanied by social progress and equality in every stage, every policy, and throughout the development is a principled requirement to guarantee the country’s healthy and sustainable development.
This comes in Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng’s article titled “Some theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path towards socialism in Việt Nam”. It is also an orientation for the country with a population of over 97 million, more than 60 per cent of whom reside in rural areas, to concurrently achieve economic growth and social progress and equality while avoiding widening the wealth gap or social inequality.
Throughout the development periods, the Party and State of Việt Nam have always worked out correct viewpoints and guidelines to handle the relationship between economic development and social progress and equality. Those viewpoints and policies have gradually been perfected by national Party congresses, reflected in the Party’s documents, and institutionalised in the State’s policies.
Accordingly, each economic policy must turn to social development, each social policy must aim at creating momentum for economic development, and the encouragement of legal enrichment must go along with sustainable poverty reduction and care for revolution contributors and disadvantaged people.
Over the more than 30 years of Đổi mới (Renewal), Việt Nam has obtained various achievements. In particular, production forces have been developing with increasing scientific content and socialist-oriented relations of production; the economy growing fast with improved quality; the people’s right to mastery in every social aspect guaranteed; the law-governed socialist state of the people, for the people, and by the people increasingly perfected; democracy brought into play, and discipline ensured; and culture, education – training, science – technology, and the people’s intellectual level improved while social evils gradually eliminated.
People have gained more conditions to enjoy physical health, wisdom, ethics, job development, and equally benefit from development accomplishments.
The recent national Party congresses identified people as the strategic centre, the target, and also the driving force of development, and that social equality and progress must be ensured in every stage and every development policy.
The 12th National Party Congress in January 2016 pointed out the need to closely and harmoniously combine economic and cultural development, realise social progress and equality, and improve people’s living conditions. In early 2021, the 13th National Party Congress underlined the orientation of continuing to firmly grasp and properly handle the big relationship between economic growth and cultural development, social progress and equality, and environmental protection.
Mindful of the achievements over the past many years, the United Nations recognised Việt Nam as one of the leading countries in the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals. At present, Việt Nam is also one of those seriously implementing the development goals set by the UN, especially the Sustainable Development Goals. Those goals have been integrated in the socio-economic development strategies and plans, which come in harmony with the cooperation framework signed with the UN.
With a view to obtaining both economic development and social progress and equality while not worsening the wealth gap or social inequality, the Party and State have always viewed poverty reduction as both a target and a measure that needs to be carried out persistently. Alleviating poverty will not only improve the quality of human resources for national development and defence, help safeguard political and social stability, and narrow the income gap among population groups, but also reflect the fine nature of socialism that Việt Nam is heading to.
Particularly, in the context of COVID-19, the Government has taken many strong anti-pandemic measures to attain the ultimate goal of protecting people’s health and lives. It has also implemented unprecedented programmes to assist pandemic-hit people.
For the past decade, the household poverty rate has continually been brought down nationwide, to 4.25 per cent in 2015 from 14.2 per cent in 2010. Việt Nam achieved the Millennium Development Goal on poverty reduction 10 years ahead of schedule and, as a result, was hailed as an example of poverty reduction by the international community.
Regarding social welfare, though numerous difficulties remain, the State has still spent 21 per cent of the budget for social welfare, the highest among ASEAN countries, thereby helping realise the set targets and tasks. — VNS