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Dec 13, 2021 / 16:03

Government urged to kickstart stimulus program in early 2022

Despite continuing to struggle with the Covid-19 impacts, 43% of business leaders in a survey remain optimistic about the future as they expect the recovery time would be around one to six months.

The business community calls for the Government to kickstart new stimulus packages that address concerns from each economic sector right in early 2022.

 Production at Garment 10. Photo: Thanh Hai

The Private Sector Development Research Board (Board IV) proposed the move following two surveys conducted by the agency in October, noting a timely implementation of supporting programs would create the momentum for businesses to recover and thrive.

From nearly 3,500 companies taking part in the survey, the number of those in operation doubled from the August figure, and 47% of around 8,900 workers said they are being employed, 10 percentage points higher than the previous survey.

“Despite continuing to struggle with the Covid-19 impacts, 43% of business leaders remain optimistic on the future as they expect the recovery time would be around one to six months,” stated the survey.

Board IV, however, stressed the severe consequences of the fourth Covid-19 outbreak to local business activities, in turn adding more pressure on companies that are still finding ways to cope with the disruption of global supply chains.

In this regard, around 30% said they are having difficulties hiring new workers, and over 45% have to offer high salaries compared to the pre-pandemic period to address the labor shortage.

Other major issues that businesses are facing include rising input materials, weak market demand, and high Covid-19 restriction costs.

Recommendations from businesses

To ensure sustainable and firm economic recovery, Board IV called for the Government to soon establish a safe working environment and enhance healthcare capability in each enterprise.

“The Ministry of Health may consider giving permission for businesses to cooperate with qualified healthcare units to consult on issues related to the pandemic,” noted the Board IV, adding enterprises also need specific procedures to deal with confirmed infection.

The Government and other agencies are advised to revise existing regulations on working hours and benefits for workers during the pandemic, especially for those working overtime so that enterprises could allocate sufficient workforce to expand production and meet contract deadlines.

Businesses asked for a delay and lower payment of social insurance premiums, as well as the establishment of voluntary pension funds with flexible conditions for workers to apply for loans in case of economic difficulties.

“This could be the solution for businesses to keep hold of workers at the time of the pandemic,” stated Board IV.

Any upcoming support program from the Government, Board IV said, should be sufficient in size and scale to address the necessity of the economy, but more importantly, to be implemented right in early 2022 to aid businesses recovery.

By the end of 2021, credit institutions in Hanoi have restructured debt payment schedules for 68,700 customers with outstanding loans of VND76.5 trillion; waived and lowered interest rates for 317,000 customers for VND575 trillion; provided new loans with a preferential rate of VND2,355 trillion for 186,000 customers since January 23.