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SMEs in HCMC seek Govt support

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in HCMC have called for 5,000 signatures for an online petition seeking the Government’s support over employment, taxes and fees as well as finance and banking policies.

SMEs account for up to 97.8% of the country’s total enterprises, but they have yet to receive much support. They have been facing multiple difficulties due to the pandemic. Many were forced to suspend their operations, face high costs for the stay-at-work mode and space and warehouse leasing and social insurance premium payments, the local media reported.

Therefore, leaders of 11 SMEs have called for 5,000 signatures for the online petition. After collecting enough signatures, they will submit the petition to the Government.

SMEs suggested suspending the social insurance payment until the pandemic is brought under control for at least six months and not fining enterprises failing to pay social insurance premiums during the pandemic.

They also proposed exempting enterprises from paying social insurance premiums during the social distancing period and issuing support policies for laborers who have paid the social insurance premium.

SMEs also wanted their value added tax to be exempted this year and halved in the next two years and the corporate income tax halved this year and cut by 30% for three years after the country declares itself free from Covid-19.

In addition, SMEs proposed borrowing loans with preferential interest rates of at least 4% from August 1 until the pandemic is brought under control for 12 months.

Moreover, SMEs suggested extending their loan payments for enterprises suspending their operations and those incapable of paying their loans. The remaining firms should be entitled to a principal payment extension and a reduction of 2%-3% in interest from August 1 until the Government declares the country free from the coronavirus for six months.

As of 10 p.m. on August 29, the petition had 407 signatures.

To ease pressure on the Government, enterprises have also proposed building a roadmap to gradually allow enterprises to resume their production and services as many workers have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Specifically, laborers who have received one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine should be allowed to work at offices, factories and companies’ headquarters.

If they have been fully vaccinated, they should be allowed to travel to other localities to work.

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