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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Government aids cash-strapped aquaculture businesses

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has signed a document outlining measures to ensure the smooth operation of cash-strapped aquaculture businesses.

The deadline for resolving these financial challenges is July 25, and relevant ministries and agencies have been directed to review and address proposals from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and other relevant agencies are tasked with reviewing recommendations on interest rate reductions and debt restructuring as prescribed in Resolution 88.

They are also urged to implement a VND10 trillion credit package to support forestry and aquaculture industries, as directed by the Prime Minister earlier this year.

The SBV and the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies will process recommendations for providing loans to enterprises for severance payments to employees.

The Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with relevant ministries and agencies, will expedite the process of refunding value-added tax to businesses and review proposals for tax exemption, reduction, and extension policies, including rent payments and waivers of fees and charges. These measures are intended to be implemented until the end of 2023.

Other ministries and agencies are also assigned to address the issues faced by aquaculture enterprises. The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, along with the Vietnam Social Security, will consider reducing unemployment insurance contributions for enterprises until the end of 2023.

The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Construction, in collaboration with relevant agencies, will examine and process recommendations to revise and streamline fire prevention and firefighting regulations for production and business activities.

Aquaculture enterprises have been encountering challenges such as difficulties in accessing bank loans and facing high interest rates. In a letter to the Government Office on June 16, VASEP raised concerns about the prohibitively high lending rates for loans in foreign currency.

It called for actions to lower these rates, introduce a relief package for aquaculture producers, and provide a grace period of four to six months for loan repayments that are set to fall due in the second and third quarters this year.

The association also asked banks to continue lending within approved credit limits to ensure a stable supply of raw materials and facilitate processing and inventory preparation for future exports.

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