Use state money of $42 B for the unemployed, lawmakers say

By Hoai Thu   May 31, 2023 | 03:19 pm PT
Use state money of $42 B for the unemployed, lawmakers say
Lawmaker Tran Anh Tuan speaks at a National Assembly session on May 31, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Phong
Lawmakers proposed this week that the government should use its coffers, which now include over VND1,000 trillion ($42.57 billion) in cash, to support the unemployed through these tough economic times.

"We can use that money to support workers by building homes for them and helping them find new jobs," said Tran Anh Tuan, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Business Management Innovation Committee.

Tuan was speaking at a National Assembly session Wednesday.

The large amount of cash in government stores has been a topic of concern for lawmakers recently, with some complaining that the money should be used for economic development instead of remaining idle.

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc told VnExpress that the money has been left unused due to delays in disbursement of public investment to infrastructure projects.

The money is therefore being kept at the State Bank of Vietnam at a deposit interest rate of 0.8% a year, and changes to current laws are needed to help speed up the disbursement of the funds, he added.

Some 294,000 Vietnamese people either lost their jobs or had to work less hours in the first quarter this year, most of them at foreign-invested companies.

Among them, 149,000 were laid off, up 35% from the previous quarter. Most of the layoffs took place in the sectors of garments, footwear and electronics manufacturing.

An April survey conducted jointly by the government’s Private Sector Development Committee and VnExpress showed that 31% out of over 8,300 respondents said they were unemployed.

Lawmakers also said Wednesday that many businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy or are at risk of being acquired by foreign companies.

Cash is what businesses need most right now, they said, adding that lowering loan interest rates and increasing access to credit could be the keys to helping them recover.

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