Vietnam mulls $2.6 billion support package to mitigate Covid-19 fallout

By Anh Minh   April 1, 2020 | 09:30 pm PT
Vietnam mulls $2.6 billion support package to mitigate Covid-19 fallout
Workers produce facemasks at a factory in southern Long An Province. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The government is considering VND61.58 trillion ($2.6 billion) worth of financial support to poor people and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment on Wednesday submitted to it a proposal for a social security policy package suggested by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Of the amount, more than VND52 trillion ($2.24 billion) would be targeted at six categories of individuals and businesses and around VND9.5 trillion ($409.48 million) would be used to support businesses facing difficulties.

Of the VND52 trillion, nearly VND36 trillion ($1.55 billion) will come from the government and the remaining VND16.2 trillion ($698.28 million) from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP). The financial support will be provided over three months from April to June.

The six categories of entities eligible for the VND52 trillion support include people with meritorious services to the revolution, poor and near-poor households, people on unpaid leave because their employers face financial difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Businesses with employees who have Covid-19 will be allowed to borrow from the VBSP at zero percent interest to pay their employees three months’ salaries. The loans will be for a maximum of 50 percent of the local minimum wage, and the businesses will be responsible for paying the remaining salary.

As of Thursday morning known Covid-19 cases in Vietnam had risen to 222. There have been no deaths and 64 have been discharged from hospitals.

Globally, the pandemic has spread to 203 countries and territories, claiming over 47,000 lives.

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