A woman affected by COVID-19 receives free rice in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh
HCM CITY— HCM City People’s Committee has instructed the city-based Bank for Social Policies to provide at least VNĐ400 billion (US$17 million) in loans for small businesses and the poor affected by COVID-19.
The loans from the employment assistance fund are expected to help employers pay salaries and continue their business operations.
Banks for social policies in city districts are expected to disburse the capital provided by the central and local government promptly and on time.
The capital from the Poverty Reduction Fund should also be disbursed soon to ensure loan access for the poor, near-poor and others who have recently escaped poverty, the city said.
People’s Committees in all districts are expected to transfer capital from the Poverty Reduction Fund by the end of the second quarter to the Bank for Social Policies to provide loans for the poor and enterprises affected by COVID-19 and to employees who have lost their job during the pandemic.
In addition, the People’s Committee approved payment term extension for households and workers who have received loans from local programmes.
As of May 25, HCM City's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs had allocated more than VNĐ350 billion ($15 million) to assist nearly 300,000 people affected by COVID-19.
More than 570,000 people affected by COVID-19 need assistance estimated at VNĐ91.3 trillion in the city.
About 97 per cent of companies in the city are small and medium-sized enterprises and micro companies. However, as of May 12, only 72 per cent of them had completed procedures for loans which are needed to pay salaries for their employees.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs Lê Tấn Dũng said the city should ensure that people working in the informal sector would receive payments.
Lê Minh Tấn, head of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the list of people working in the informal sector and needing assistance has been completed. Such assistance has been provided since May 20.
The city has provided assistance to 68 small business households so far. More than 1,380 applications have been received, but many applicants did not meet the criteria for the programme. — VNS