Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands has canceled two of the three fireworks shows planned for the upcoming Lunar New Year celebration, urging potential sponsors to give that money to poor people instead.
A source from the province’s culture and tourism department told Tuoi Tre newspaper that two towns and a district had proposed to raise funds from private donors to organize fireworks shows on February 7.
The shows are estimated to cost between VND200-400 million (US$9000-18,000) each.
But the province government has only approved one of the shows in the province’s capital town of Buon Ma Thuot.
“The money for the other shows should be given to poor people and spent on building charity houses,” the culture official said.
Official data from 2014 showed that 10 percent of families in Dak Lak were living under the poverty line, or having income of VND4.8 million or less per person a year.
The province reported an average income of VND31.4 million ($1,413) that year, compared to the country’s average of around $2,000, according to the World Bank.