Mar 26, 2020 / 14:39

Hanoi SMEs proposes extending relief programs for firms hurt by Covid-19

With the growing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, local businesses rely on supportive measures from the local authority to cope with hardship.

The Hanoi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Hanoisme) has proposed the Vietnamese government extend the relief package that includes lowering and waiving of interest rates for the business community amid the growing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Illustrative photo. 

Following a quick survey on the impacts of the pandemic on enterprises operating in Hanoi, the Hanoisme suggested that the Hanoi People’s Committee should continue pushing for administrative reforms and expanding investment in industrial parks.

Additionally, trade promotion activities are key to help enterprises boost sales and penetrate new markets, Anh said.

The Hanoisme expected the local authorities to reduce land rental fees by 50% for the first six months of 2020, as well as costs of electricity, water, and other administrative fees related to enterprises, according to Mac Quoc Anh, vice president cum general secretary of the association.

Anh added the government could consider delaying the payment deadline for corporate tax and reducing the tax rate to 15–17% and value added tax (VAT) by 50%.

The banking sector is asked to lower interest rates for existing loans and accelerate the lending procedures for new customers.

In addition, the government is proposed to reduce and defer payment of social and health insurance for workers; extend VAT payment for imported goods to 120 – 180 days; and simplify customs clearance process.

Anh expected these measures would help build trust of the business community that the government is capable of containing the pandemic, in turn mitigating its negative impacts on the economy.

In early March, Hanoi’s Taxation Authority set up four scenarios for its state budget revenue in 2020, in which the pandemic is expected to cost the city up to VND16.6 trillion (US$712.14 million) to deal with it and support local businesses suffering from its impacts.