Government considers US$2.6 billion support package for Vietnamese hit by COVID-19

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung submitted a relief package worth VND61.58 trillion (US$2.6 billion) to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at the meeting of permanent Government members on April 1.

government considers us$2.6 billion support package for vietnamese hit by covid-19 hinh 0
Workers of a garment factory in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

According to the proposal, there will be six groups of people who are eligible for the relief payments to be made in cash or through the Bank for Social Policies.

Social policy beneficiaries and those who have rendered services to the State during the revolution and wars who are receiving monthly allowances will be given an additional VND500,000 (US$21.8) each month in April, May, and June.

There are about 4.135 million people who fall under this category.

About 984,000 poor households and 1,260,000 near-poor households across the country will receive VND1 million each month also in April, May, and June.

In Vietnam, income-wise, the poor households are those earning less than VND1 million a month in urban areas, or less than VND800,000 in rural areas.

Workers who were laid off or put on leave without pay due to the direct impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be provided VND1.8 million (US$76) a person a month.

A monthly payment of VND1 million paid for three months will be given to an estimated five million workers who either lost their jobs, don’t have a labour contract or had their contracts terminated when their social insurance contribution period is not sufficient for unemployment benefit payout.

Individual business households with yearly revenues below VND100 million who have to temporarily close down as part of the Government’s stay-at-home order and social distancing measures will be given VND1 million a month over a three-month period. About 760,000 households are eligible for this support.

Employers can borrow from the Vietnam Social Policy Bank with zero interest rate over 12 months to pay salaries for their furloughed workers in the three-month period.

Those eligible for more than two types of support in this bill will only be able to receive the highest value support.

There will also be policies in place to help simplify the process of claiming unemployment support for workers.

Employers and employees will also temporarily be exempt from their obligatory contributions to the retirement and survivors’ fund (part of the Government-sponsored insurance programme).

More than half of the package’s value will be sourced from the State budget, while the remainder will come from “mobilisation of other sources,” according to the Government.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the Government “highly supports” the draft package and ordered measures be put in place to ensure the transparency of the implementation, make sure that there would be no fraud and that the support will go to the right people.

VNA