Concerns raised over VND100-trillion relief packag

HCMC – The competent agencies are considering a relief package worth VND100 trillion, offering loans with an interest rate of 3%-4% for enterprises hit by the pandemic, but there have been concerns over the feasibility and deployment of the package.
Stacks of Vietnamese banknotes. The VND100-trillion relief package has raised concerns - PHOTO: SGT
At a virtual workshop, themed “Relief packages: capital must come to the needy”, Nguyen Tuan Anh, head of the Department of Credit Policies for Economic Sectors at the State Bank of Vietnam, said the package was based on a recommendation from the National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue to help enterprises ride out the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

However, Dr Le Xuan Nghia, head of the Business Development Institute, said the estimated amount of VND3 trillion out of the package for partially subsidizing the interest sum was modest and would not help the economy.

There have been many support policies and lending rate cuts, which have not been enough for enterprises. Therefore, if the package cannot create a significant impact, it should not be launched.

He was also concerned about the beneficiaries of the package. If criteria are similar to those of previous packages, the number of enterprises that can access the package will be small.

With the criteria that enterprises must not incur bad debts, must ensure a certain revenue and profits, and must have mortgaged assets, giants like Vietravel and Vietnam Airlines will not be eligible for the package, Nghia added.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Quoc Hung, general secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association, threw his support behind the package, noting that the package should cover all pandemic-hit enterprises. However, policies and criteria should be made clear.

Pham Dinh Thuy, head of the General Statistics Office’s Industrial and Construction Statistics Department, said most firms could not borrow loans due to stringent criteria.

Nguyen Tuan Anh from SBV said the central bank would coordinate with ministries and agencies to build new criteria for the new package while controlling inflation.

Nghia also expressed his concern over the capital sources for the package. The capital cannot be sourced from the State budget.

The Ministry of Finance can mobilize other resources, such as bond issues and foreign reserves.

Representing enterprises, Vietravel Chairman Nguyen Quoc Ky said enterprises were in dire need of capital to just exist, while banks had reported handsome profits.

By Dung Nguyen