Ho Chi Minh City spent nearly VND2 trillion (US$96.2 million), an increase of 25 percent compared to last year, to donate gifts to the poor and organize traditional festivals in the city during the lunar New Year ( or Tet) festival.
The expenses went up 25 percent compared to Tet in 2014, according to a meeting held February 27 to review the organizing of 2015 Tet for the poor by the municipal People’s Committee.
Of the amount, nearly VND700 billion ($33.7 million) was earmarked for giving gifts to poor families who served the national liberation decades ago, beneficiaries of social welfare policies and state employees.
This year, the city has given gifts to poor households especially low-income earners and disadvantaged workers in industrial parks and export excessing zones and increased the value of gifts by 20 percent.
246,393 people serving the country's liberation; 66,675 poor households; 120,376 socially sponsored people and 184,947 state employees received the support of the city authority in the lunar New Year festival.
The city Fatherland Front Vietnam visited and presented gifts to Vietnamese Heroic Mothers; senior alone people, disadvantaged ethnic minority households in 29 mountainous provinces in the North, Highlands and the Mekong delta; armed soldiers, navy soldiers and soldiers in Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands. Total sum is up to VND11.5 billion (US$538,660).
Other political and social organizations including the city Labor Union, Young Communist Union, Farmers Association, Women Association and other associations also took care of poor workers, students, farmers and its members with total expenditure of VND210 billion (US$9.8million).
The city was also active in preparing essential commodities and stabilize prices and quality. Social order is maintained and the number of traffic accidents reduced compared to last year. Beggars, homeless and drug addicts are taken to social sponsored centers to keep social order.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of HCMC Le Hoang Quan stressed at the meeting that individuals and organizations joined hands in helping the poor enjoy the traditional festival and this tradition should be further promoted in the future.
Mr. Quan also asked city's departments to solve difficulties to help enterprises and improve investment environment and facilitate local businesses. He promised that the major construction in the city would be finished as early as possible to welcome the special event of the 40 anniversary of the South Vietnam Liberation Day.
On this occasion, the city People's Committee also awarded 182 individuals, organizations who had well done in taking care of the poor during Lunar New Year festival.