HCMC companies consider ways to bring workers back

By Vien Thong   October 9, 2021 | 04:33 am PT
HCMC companies consider ways to bring workers back
Employees of footwear maker Pouyuen leave the factory in HCMC, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
While resuming production, HCMC companies are considering options to bring back workers, who had left for their hometowns before or during social distancing.

Since earlier this month there were days when the number of people registering to return to the city exceeded those who were trying to leave, HCMC deputy chairwoman Phan Thi Thang told an online meeting with citizens Friday.

Official data shows that among industrial hubs, the ratio of workers have increased from 70,000 to 164,000 between Oct. 1 and 6. That is an increase in ratio from 24.3 percent to 56.8 percent, Thang said.

The city is considering several options to bring back workers, including allowing businesses to organize their own transportation and tasking authorities of industrial hubs to partner with transport companies.

The city will seek to prioritize returning workers who have not been vaccinated or have received only the first dose, though all need to test Covid-19 negative first, she said.

The irregular social media interaction is one of the latest efforts of Ho Chi Minh City authorities to communicate with the people about the many difficulties it has been going through in the last few months, including the mass migration to other localities as unemployed people run out of money.

Four months of social distancing at various levels have put many challenges on HCMC businesses, with the number of new companies dwindling, while economic growth in the third quarter plunged double-digit from the same period last year.

Thang said the city is giving out support to businesses, including a maximum loan of VND2 billion ($86,200) for small and medium companies, and VND100 million for individuals with incentive interest rates.

The city has also requested the government to provide tax breaks for businesses, and it is possible that household businesses would not need to pay any tax in the third and fourth quarters this year, she said.

In terms of transportation, the city is working with other localities in ensuring safe traveling, and it is expected that inter-province bus routes could resume on Nov. 1 if the pandemic situation improves.

HCMC is considering the gradual resumption of travel activities to "revive" the severely damaged industry, with priorities for the resumption of river travel to District 5.

By next year, depending on the pandemic situation, the city could consider reopening its doors to foreign visitors, the deputy chairwoman said.

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