Vietnam proposes another US$1.13 billion pandemic aid package
This package will help businesses and the poor cope with the effects of the prolonged pandemic.
Minister of labour, invalids and social affairs Dao Ngoc Dung told a government meeting that this is a follow-up to a previous initiative of VND62 trillion (US$2.7 billion) issued last year.
Prime minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the labour ministry to thoroughly make sure that the financial aid would reach those in need, including informal workers like street vendors.
The financial support package released in April last year included nearly VND36 trillion (US$1.56 billion) from the central government and local administration budgets.
Both workers and businesses benefited from last year’s package, with workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic for 14 days or more getting a monthly allowance of VND1.8 million (US$78).
Part-time workers who were unemployed but have not received related benefits received a monthly allowance of VND1 million (US$43.4).
Household businesses with revenues below VND100 million (US$4,339) annually who have had to suspend operations due to the pandemic were supported with VND1 million (US$43.4) per month.
Businesses that ran into financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 were allowed to take out zero-interest loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies to pay salaries to their employees for three months. The loans covered a maximum 50% of the local minimum wage, with businesses responsible for paying the remainder.
As of May this year, nearly VND14 trillion (US$608 billion) of the package had been disbursed to help 13.2 million people, according to VNExpress.