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Gov’t keeps macroeconomic targets unchanged despite COVID-19 epidemic

Update: February, 26/2020 - 08:05

 

 

View of the meeting. Photo chinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI The Government is striving to meet dual targets to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of people while achieving the macroeconomic indicators set by the Party and the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc made the statement chairing a meeting of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council held in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

He said it was necessary to be cautious but not pessimistic when analysing the impacts on the country’s economy and take suitable measures adding there was no basis to adjust the country’s approved macro-economic targets.

The PM confirmed Việt Nam was a safe country with good and stable indicators.

In the current climate, the authorities must take strong, drastic and thorough measures and reforms to fight against the epidemic, boost production and business to meet the economic growth targets, Phúc noted.

The Prime Minister directed ministries, agencies, cities and provinces nationwide to work out plans to deal with socio-economic impacts caused by the virus.

It was necessary to strengthen the capacity of analysing, forecasting and coping with external uncertainties, the PM said.

At the meeting, members of the council agreed the need to continue consistently implementing targets of controlling inflation, stabilising the macro-economy and ensuring major balances of the economy, which they believed would create a firm foundation for sustainable development. They noted instability of the nation’s macro economy could have serious consequences.

Governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) Lê Minh Hưng said the most important thing was to keep macroeconomic stability. Therefore, to control inflation, Hưng said the central bank would apply a cautious monetary policy, but not too tight, so as to not affect the economic growth.

As the council’s members advised the Government to continue applying credit supporting policies for businesses affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Governor also reported the SBV on Monday required commercial banks to reschedule debt repayments to help customers affected. The banks then needed to report back to the SBV between March 15 and March 31.

According to the SBV’s direction, Hưng said, banks would consider rescheduling repayments, reducing interest rates and temporarily suspending debts.

The central bank also asked banks to provide new loans to customers to stabilise their production and businesses.

According to local banks, customers suffering the most were firms involved in transportation, storage, accommodation, tourism, restaurant and food service. Others include agricultural and fisheries companies whose major export market is China and those whose main materials are imported from China.

At the meeting, the council members also advised the Government to continuously boost industries, which have potentials and advantages, to reduce and offset adverse impacts of the epidemic.

Appropriate solutions were also needed to ensure human resources, labour and normal business and production conditions for the sector, they said.

In addition, the Government should promote the disbursement of public investment projects, especially key national ones.

Concluding the meeting, Phúc told the central bank and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to continuously gather the council members’ recommendations and report to the Government’s upcoming meeting and complete a Government’s draft directive on solutions to support and promote production and business to issue next time. VNS

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