Apr 02, 2020 / 13:10

Vietnam may quintuple fiscal stimulus package to US$6.35 billion

The Hanoitimes - If the Covid-19 pandemic lingers, people’s welfare should be prioritized over short-term economic profits, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

While the current credit package worth VND250 trillion (US$10.86 billion) should be bigger, the fiscal stimulus package is set to quintuple from VND30 trillion (US$1.3 billion ) to VND150 trillion (US$6.35 billion), according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

 Overview of the meeting. Source: VGP. 

“If the Covid-19 pandemic persists, welfare should be prioritized over short-term economic profits,” PM Phuc said at a monthly government meeting on April 1. 

For the time being, he expected Vietnam would maintain stable exchange rate policy and the market liquidity, while government agencies are tasked with prevent prices of essential services and pork from going up.

Phuc requested relevant agencies to propose measures to lower prices of essential goods and waive administrative costs to help businesses and enterprises cope with the pandemic.

Phuc welcomed proposal from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Electricity to reduce 10% of electricity prices with a total value of VND11 trillion (US$465.86 million).

Meanwhile, local mobile carriers would give a hand with a financial support package for telecommunication services estimated at VND15 trillion (US$635.27 million).

Regarding the US$1.3-billion relief package for vulnerable people directly affected by the pandemic, Phuc requested the government agencies to speed up the administrative procedures for quick implementation.

Such financial support should strictly target people who lose jobs or have income significantly reduced by the pandemic, while the process should ensure transparency and fairness, Phuc stated.

Phuc mentioned a global public survey conducted by Dalia Research on how the world views the actions taken by their governments against the Covid-19, indicating with 62% of Vietnamese people saying they are happy with the government’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam has the highest public trust globally.

The PM stressed the government’s request for social distancing does not mean a restriction on transportation, or suspension of production and businesses, but a priority to protect the health of workers and citizens.

Although Vietnam’s GDP growth in the first quarter reached a 10-year low of 3.82%, Phuc said it was still an encouraging outcome taking into the fact that many countries are suffering from negative economic expansion.