HCM City officials and transport operators discuss measures to help the latter cope with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. VNS Photo Văn Châu
HCM CITY – The HCM City Department of Transport held a meeting with related departments on October 2 to discuss support measures for transport companies affected by Covid-19.
The Department of Planning and Investment suggested that the State Bank of Vietnam should instruct banks to waive loan interest for transport companies that have suspended operations for four months instead of just rescheduling.
Phạm Minh Sương, general director of Mai Linh Taxi Group, said the pandemic situation has improved and taxis operate normally, but there are few passengers going to or coming from places like airports, restaurants and hotels.
Banks have cut loan interest rates by a paltry 0.1-0.5 percentage points, but to enable transport firms to overcome their difficulties, the cut should be 3-5 percentage points, he said.
According to the HCMC Taxi Association, in the first half of this year taxi firms’ revenues were down 40 per cent year-on-year.
Its member companies hope for loan interest subsidies, debt rescheduling and more support policies, it said.
Trần Quang Lâm, director of the transport department, called on related agencies to simplify procedures to support businesses, including quickly resolving licensing procedures for vehicles carrying goods into and out of ports.
To aid businesses hit hard by the pandemic, the Ministry of Finance issued a circular cutting road maintenance fees by 30 per cent for passenger transport vehicles and 10 per cent for trucks, tractors and other special vehicles.
The reductions apply from August 10 to year-end.
The ministry said thousands of companies, co-operatives and household businesses in the transportation sector are facing difficulties due to the pandemic with more than 310,000 of their vehicles not operating normally and hundreds of thousands of workers suffering from lower incomes.
When social distancing was in place in the country, passenger transportation saw a 75 per cent drop in revenues, the transport ministry said. – VNS