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Government bailout should provide more sustained support: lawmakers

By Anh Minh   July 23, 2021 | 04:09 am PT
Government bailout should provide more sustained support: lawmakers
A customer shops in a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The government’s support packages for businesses should extend to foster rapid post-pandemic recovery instead of focusing solely on surviving outbreaks, lawmakers say.

National Assembly delegate Phan Duc Hieu, also deputy head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that the fourth Covid-19 wave has made it difficult for companies to export.

"In previous waves we struggled to find markets to export, now there are markets but we cannot manufacture because of the disease spreading," he said at a lawmaker’s meeting on the economy Thursday.

The support that the government has been giving is only temporary to help businesses survive, said Hoang Van Cuong, deputy head of the National Economics University in Hanoi, another NA delegate.

The government needs to provide better solutions so that support packages not only keep businesses from dying and people from starving but also promote breakthroughs, he said.

"If we do not push the recovery of businesses, the risk is that Vietnam’s recovery will be slower than that of other economies."

One way to help businesses achieve breakthroughs is lower their loan interest rates further, he said.

The number of businesses withdrawing from the market surged nearly 25 percent this year to over 70,200 in the first half of the year, and unemployment has risen significantly as well.

Other lawmakers proposed that the government provides a larger bailout package.

Nguyen Van Hien, head of the Legislation Research Institute under the National Assembly, said that a support package of VND62 trillion ($2.69 billion) or higher, same as last year, would be needed to help businesses get back on their feet.

There needs to be solutions for businesses to recover after the pandemic, he said.

Hieu of CIEM proposed that value-added tax breaks are given to companies whose employees are staying on-site to maintain manufacturing.

Localities should not issue new regulations that increase difficulties for businesses like increasing port fees, he said.

"No regulation that increases costs for businesses should be issued this year."

Although Vietnam’s GDP expanded 5.64 percent in the first half, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently lowered its growth forecast for the country from 6.7 percent to 5.8 percent this year due to the impacts of the fourth Covid-19 wave.

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