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HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee held an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to discuss the Government’s proposed US$2.6 billion social welfare package for the people and businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairing the meeting, NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said support measures from the State were an urgent and important task.
Responding to the call from Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the whole country needed to work together to implement disease prevention and control activities initiated by the Government and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Ngân said.
“Despite the complicated development of the disease, Việt Nam has seen positive signs as a result of the country’ s determination and efforts to reduce the number of new COVID-19 cases and an increased number of patients who have recovered,” Ngân said.
“The results have been recognised by the World Health Organisation and countries all over the world, affirming the Party and State have implemented effective policies, as well as the effective management of the Government,” she said.
Ngân also appreciated the joint efforts made by doctors, healthcare workers, the army, businesses, and Vietnamese and foreigners living or visiting Việt Nam.
The NA chairwoman praised the Government’s drastic action to fight COVID-19, to ensure social welfare and stabilise business and production during the pandemic.
At the meeting, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that COVID-19 affected all economic sectors and people’s livelihoods.
Initial estimates showed that 19 per cent of business in Việt Nam had stopped or narrowed their operations because of the outbreak.
98 per cent of people working in the tourism and service sectors had lost jobs, while 78 per cent of people working in the transportation and footwear and garment sectors had less working hours, or had even been forced to stop.
98 per cent of workers in the struggling aviation sector have been temporarily laid off.
The livelihoods of millions of workers have been hit hard, especially manual or seasonal workers and low income earners.
“If the pandemic continues until next month, about 2 million workers will lose their jobs. Unemployment figures could reach 3.5 million workers if the situation worsens,” Dũng said.
The Government plans to adopt a $2.6 billion relief package to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that has waged devastation on the economy.
There will be six groups of people who are eligible for the relief payments, including social policy beneficiaries and those who have rendered services to the State during the revolution; poor and near-poor households; and workers who were furloughed or put on leave without pay due to the direct impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The value of the package stands at VNĐ61.58 trillion ($2.6 billion), more than half of which – VNĐ35.88 trillion – would be sourced from the State budget, while the remainder would come from “mobilisation of other sources”, according to the Government.
The package would benefit about 20 million Vietnamese.
NA chairwoman Ngân said that timely and direct support from the Government would reassure people and encourage them to join the fight against the disease as well as contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development.
She called for prompt implementation of the support policies.
She also asked for strict oversight and monitoring of the implementation to prevent a lack of transparency or profiteering. — VNS
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