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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Aid package for companies sees few takers

By Van Phong

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HCMC – A financial aid package with an interest rate discount of 2 percentage points for businesses is being disbursed far slower than expected as there have been just  550 beneficiaries able to access the soft loans three months since it was introduced.

The business stimulus package is meant to support enterprises, cooperatives and business households in accordance with Government Decree No. 31/2022, under which businesses are offered a subsidy of two percentage points on the commercial rate charged by banks.

Speaking at a meeting on August 17, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Dao Minh Tu said commercial banks have put their names down for joining the entire stimulus program and for separate 2022 and 2023 tranches.

Tu said the central bank has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance to earmark budgets for covering the interest subsidy for the estimated bank loans under the stimulus program in 2022 and 2003, at around VND16,035 billion and VND23,965 billion, respectively.

To date, loans taken out under the interest subsidy package have totaled just VND4.1 trillion, or roughly 10% of the package value, benefiting only 550 customers three months after implementation. The amount of interest having been given was almost VND1.02 billion, while the outstanding credits now stood at VND3,966 billion.

This poor result was due to several reasons, including difficulties in identifying the beneficiaries of the aid package, obstacles on the part of commercial banks, and household businesses as a key target of the package failing to upgrade their status into companies as required.

The sluggishness in implementing the package explains why the disbursement of loans has almost stalled, according to Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai.

The Deputy Prime Minister requested the relevant agencies to review the regulations related to the loan conditions and beneficiaries to promptly come up with appropriate solutions and adjustments.

He emphasized that the central bank should proactively tackle problems and disburse loans as fast as possible to support enterprises.

The central bank was assigned to hold a conference next week to receive feedback from commercial banks and relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice. Additionally, some interdisciplinary taskforces would be established to oversee the implementation of the package and propose measures to handle difficulties faced by banks.

Earlier this year, the Government issued a decree on this economic recovery stimulus package worth up to VND40 trillion, offering an interest rate subsidy of 2 percentage points on commercial loans to enterprises, cooperatives and business households.

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