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Apr 06, 2020 / 17:14

Vietnam gov’t agrees to US$2.16-billion relief package for vulnerable people

The relief package aims to maintain minimum living standards for vulnerable people in the next three months, local media reported.

The Vietnamese government has agreed to roll out a relief package worth VND61.58 trillion (US$2.16 billion) for vulnerable people and enterprises directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting. Source: VGP. 

The relief package aims to maintain minimum living standards for vulnerable people in the next three months as they would receive the once-paid financial support, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a government meeting on April 5.

Phuc urged relevant government agencies to speed up the finalization of the draft decree for quick implementation.

Under the plan, people out of work, self-employed people, and household businesses forced to suspend operation could receive up to VND1 million (US$42.63) a month, while social beneficiaries and revolutionary contributors are entitled to VND500,000 (US$21.32) per person a month.

Meanwhile, for workers having labor contracts with enterprises but are forced to take unpaid leave or face wage reduction, the support would be around VND1.8 million (US$76.74) per person a month in the next three months.

Enterprises having to lay off their employees in three months could seek preferential loans with zero interest rates from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies to pay salaries for workers.

According to Phuc, funding for the package would come from state and provincial budgets, including savings from regular expenditures for meetings, workshops, abroad working trips, festivals and others.

Phuc revealed Vietnam Electricity would subsidize VND12 trillion (US$508.82 million) for customers by cutting electricity prices while mobile carriers are expected to provide a similar program worth VND15 trillion (US$635.98 million) for their subscribers.

As of March 29, banks have loaned out VND80 trillion (US$3.4 billion) with preferential rates to 47,000 customers, equivalent to 30% of a credit support package worth VND285 trillion (US$12.1 billion).

Beneficiaries of the credit package are enterprises operating in the fields such as agriculture, electricity production, and healthcare services, among others, which are less affected by the pandemic but are in need of capital for rebound once the pandemic is over.

On April 3, the Ministry of Finance proposed to expand the fiscal stimulus package to VND180 trillion (US$7.64 billion), representing a six-fold increase from the initial proposal of VND30 trillion (US$1.27 billion).

The package would be provided in forms of tax breaks, delay in tax payments, and reduction in land rental fees in five months.