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According to Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), to become eligible to a government subsidy amounting to VND30,000 per month, needy households must procure registration forms from local power departments within 30 days from March 1, 2011.
Meanwhile, most local power departments are yet to list needy households in their areas.
In fact, many households said they did not know whether they must go directly to local power departments to take registration forms or the local governments will take it on their behalf then later provide them.
A representative from Hanoi’s Tu Liem District Power Department said a number of residents called asking about the procedures for registering. The power department has no concrete guidance about it.
In this respect, head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs' (MoLISA) Planning and Financial Department Chu Quang Cuong said needy households may not have to fill in registration forms to become eligible for the subsidy.
Cuong said that EVN would transfer the subsidised money to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), which would then direct the money to the labour, invalids and social affairs sector, from there the money would go to localities.
“The [subsidised) money, together with some other sorts of aid, will reach the hands of needy people on a quarterly basis as the poor currently benefit from a number of state supports,” said Cuong.
To ensure subsidised money reach who in need shortly, MoLISA Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said in case EVN late in transferring subsidised money the MoLISA would join hands with the MoF to advance the sum to needy people.
The draft circular guiding electricity price subsidy towards needy households is reportedly in the making. Thereby, needy households could start receiving their power price subsidy not sooner than the second quarter of 2011.
The prime minister enacted needy household standards for 2011-2015 on September 21, 2010. Accordingly, needy households in rural areas are those which have an average monthly income of less than VND400,000 ($19.3) per person while in urban areas the benchmark is less than VND500,000 ($24.1) per person per month.