The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee recently convened an extraordinary meeting in Hanoi to discuss supports for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, at the request of the Government. Based on the agreement of the NA Standing Committee, the Government issued Resolution No.42/NQ-CP on asocial security support package with a scale of up to VND62 trillion (over US$2.64 billion), aiming to support about 20 million people who are unemployed workers, poor or the disadvantaged in society - those who are most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
|Workers of a garment factory in Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)
This is an unprecedented solution with the total capital mobilised from the State budget, credit from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy, and the unemployment insurance fund.
Accordingly, Vietnam has so far devised a wide range of anti COVID-19 solutions on the socio-economic front, including monetary policy with a focus on debt restructuring, interest rate exemption and reduction, credit support with a scale of VND250 trillion (nearly US$10.65 billion); and fiscal policy with a focus on tax payment and land rent deadline extensions with a scale of VND180 trillion; and a support policy to ensure social security worth VND62 trillion.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance also proposed that the Government require ministries, branches and localities to save recurrent expenditure by reducing at least 30-50% of conference and working expenses; and using the state budget reserves in a reserved manner in order to have more resources to fight the epidemic; at the same time, submit to the National Assembly for decision whether to implement a preferential policy related to income tax for small and medium-sized enterprises to be implemented from July 1, 2020.
This would come into operation five months earlier than expected and would help over 700,000 enterprises have extra resources worth about VND7.8 trillion as a result of the reduction in tax obligations. Moreover, many types of fees and charges worth about VND500 billion are being reviewed and reduced for people and businesses, among others. This is considered an effort by the Party and the State in the context of a limited budget and the unpredictable developments of the disease.
Vietnam’s economy has been experiencing a high growth momentum, however, the COVID-19 epidemic has reversed key goals, targets and tasks of the Government and local authorities at all levels. In order to deal with the new situation, the Government's administrative tasks under Resolution No.01/NQ-CP have changed fundamentally, specifically, shifting to the priority of epidemic prevention and control, continuing to maintain macroeconomic stability and maintaining growth at a reasonable level; and implementing packages to support production and business as well as enhance the resilience of enterprises. Vietnam has mobilised its national strengthto accomplish the double goal of preventing and fighting Covid-19 while still maintaining production, business and social security.
The decisive factor not only lays in the newly announced support packages, more importantly, these support packages must be deployed in a proper and timely manner as well as seek out the right subjects to help people and enterprises overcome the current difficulties as much as possible.
In addition, ministries, branches and localities should continue to tighten budget spending, limit the organisationof unnecessary meetings, and actively join hands with the Government in the prevention and control of the epidemic.
It is predicted that the situation will get even more difficult. The Government has raised the anti-epidemic impetus with a new determination and spirit, with an aim to turning risks into opportunities in order to push the economy up as soon as the disease is under control. We absolutely have reason to believe that Vietnam has enough capacity, resources, experience and willpower to win this tough fight.