A worker at a business in Linh Trung 1 Industrial Zone in HCM City last Friday, the first day social distancing measures were eased in the city after nearly four months. VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Pha
HCM CITY — Businesses in HCM City have called for support policies to help them revive operations after disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
They made the proposal during a meeting with President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and a delegation of the city’s National Assembly deputies on Saturday.
Lý Kim Chi, Chairwoman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCM City, said the Government and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control should quickly issue temporary guidance on flexible adaptation to the new normal.
Enterprises should be allowed to draw up their own production plans in line with COVID-19 prevention and control regulations, and take responsibility for the implementation, she said.
Competent agencies would supervise pandemic prevention and control at the firms and strictly handle violations, she said, adding that businesses can be forced to close when necessary.
Chi also proposed the Government prioritise vaccinations for employees engaging in supply chains in southern localities that are closely associated with HCM City’s economy, especially in food and other necessities.
Other voters raised opinions regarding the shortage of workers in the southern economic centre, accommodation for workers and financial policies to support businesses.
President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at a meeting with representatives of businesses in HCM City. —VNA/VNS Photo
Phạm Văn Việt, vice chairman of HCM City Association of Garments, Textiles, Embroidery and Knitting, said that practical policies and initiatives from the State are much needed to retain workers in the city and maintain the supply chain.
Some examples are providing buses for workers from other provinces to go back to the city, establishing screening and quarantine locations for them at deserted apartment buildings and schools, and putting them in a priority group to get tests and vaccines before returning to work in factories, he said.
He also proposed that the city set aside land to build accommodation for workers in each district, give them discounts on rent and buying houses, and keep the rent prices stable. The authorities should also encourage developers to build social houses for workers and give them incentives to do so, such as lower interest rates, he said.
In terms of financial policies, Nguyễn Quốc Kỳ, chairman of the board of directors of Vietravel said that at the moment, financial support is as crucial to businesses as "oxygen to the sick".
That's why support policies need to be put into practice as soon as possible so as not to slow down the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery, he said. Special mechanisms should be established to enable businesses to get preferential interest rates, no matter what field they are in.
This calls for an amendment to the Law on Credit Institutions so regulations and criteria will be loosened, allowing more businesses to get the support, he said.
The HCM City Business Association (HUBA) also asked the State to provide more preferential policies in terms of refinancing loans and credit growth limits so enterprises can enjoy lower interest rates and don't have to mortgage their properties.
Speaking at the meeting, President Phúc asked NA deputies to urge agencies to work with enterprises in different spheres like finance, banking, workforce, and trade and investment promotion to ease their concerns.
The Party and State will soon issue specific financial and monetary policies to aid businesses in this tough period, the leader pledged, expressing his belief that HCM City’s economy will recover soon.
Unofficial statistics show that as of August 2021, up to 24,000 enterprises in the city had dissolved, up 6.6 per cent against the same period last year.
Nearly 30 per cent of labourers have been rendered jobless, mostly in leather-footwear (62 per cent), garment-textile (42.6 per cent), lodging services (37 per cent) and catering services (38 per cent). — VNS