The epidemic situation has become more complex than it was in early March, while its impact on production and business in particular and the economy in general has become more serious.

Nguyen Dinh Cung,CIEM,Covid-19,SMEs,vietnam economy

Therefore, the solutions to remove difficulties and support production and business should be conducted more urgently, more drastically, and on a much larger scale.

In the immediate time, according to the Advisory Board on Sustainable Development and National Competitiveness Improvement, it is necessary to implement all the tasks shown in the Prime Minister’s Directive No 11.

First, cut business costs.

The following types of transport fees need to be exempted or reduced until the end of 2020:

Exempt road transport fee per head for vehicles used for all road cargo and passenger transport firms, and travel firms.

Exempt fee for parking vehicles, aircraft and other means of transport for all transport firms. Reduce 70 percent of inspection fee for motorized transport for vehicles carrying road passengers and cargo transport firms and tourism firms.

As businesses and people need emergency aid, former director of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung believes that the implementation of economic relief solutions needs to be organized in a quick and inexpensive way.

The Hai Phong City People’s Committee needs to release a decision to exempt the port infrastructure fee until the end of 2020 and reduce the fee by 50 percent for coming years.

Exempt the 2020 trade union fee for tourism, passenger and cargo transport firms, the businesses that provide catering, accommodation and logistics services; and educational and training organizations; and reduce the fee by 50 percent for other businesses.

Allow businesses and economic institutions to take expenses on works to fight against the epidemic into account as their operation costs.

Reduce the fee for using land allocated or leased in 2020 for tourism and transport firms, businesses that provide catering, accommodation and logistics services; and educational and training organizations.

Second, it is necessary to share with businesses the costs to support and retain the labor force during the epidemic.

There are four groups of workers in the Covid-19 period, including 1/ those who lose jobs 2/ workers who temporarily take unpaid leave 3/ workers with reduced working hours and 4/ workers who still have jobs.

The principle is minimizing the number of workers to be laid off, assisting enterprises to retain workers, and sharing difficulties with enterprises.

The solutions include:

 

Allowing employers and employees to negotiate and set up regional minimum wages lower than the minimum wages stipulated in the Labor Code until the end of 2020.

Exempting social insurance premiums for workers who have to temporarily take unpaid leave because of Covid-19.

Extending the deadline for social insurance premium payment for firms in the fields of tourism, transport, logistics, eateries, accommodation, and education and training establishments until the end of 2020.

Supporting 50 percent of salaries until the end of June for workers temporarily taking unpaid leave.

Third, continue to ease lending interest rates. The State Bank of Vietnam needs to request credit institutions to slash interest rates by at least 2 percentage points for loans made prior to March 4, 2020, applied to businesses in the fields of tourism, cargo and passenger transport, eateries, accommodation, logistics, textile and garment, and footwear.

Fourth, the government needs to launch a social security support package, under which the government will give one-time support in cash or vouchers for buying essential goods. The support will be given to workers who lose jobs, temporarily take unpaid leave, and to street vendors and disabled workers.

It would be better to implement a one-time allowance to alleviate difficulties caused by the pandemic. This will help stimulate domestic demand of poor households; meritorious families; and low-income earners.

Fifth, set up favorable conditions to support the development of new business models, new management methods, and new ways of working based on digitalization.

Immediately promulgate regulations to apply mobile money for payments and non-cash payments among people who don’t have bank accounts.

Perfect the legal framework on e-commerce; and strengthen the e-commerce development support capacity of relevant state agencies.

Build electronic trading floors for farm, forestry and seafood produce in Vietnam; accelerate and support market expansion, change the way of organizing agriculture production and improve the quality of agriculture products.

Study and issue standards on online teaching and learning in order to ensure education quality and fairness in accessing education services.

Request state-owned economic groups and general corporations to apply information technology in managing, supervising and assessing their production and business activities.

Cung stressed that all of these measures above need to be implemented quickly. It would be better not to require the usual administrative procedures. If necessary, take action first and follow procedures later.

The purposes and work results must use the highest criteria to assess the abilities of each individual and organization, especially the leaders of organizations. It is necessary to give power to ministers and provinces’ chairs to take the initiative in organizing the implementation of the tasks. 

Tu Hoang

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