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Gov’t extends financial support programmes for next three months

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Garment workers in a factory in Phnom Penh. Khmer Times

The government has extended its financial support programmes to aid the garment and textile industry, tourism sectors and poor people for another three months from January to March 2021, according to a government statement released yesterday.

This is the seventh round of support from the government to both the private and public sectors, which have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, countries around the world, including Cambodia, are considering and preparing vaccines which aim to be recognised by the World Health Organization. However, even when there is a vaccine available, people’s livelihoods will not return to normal quickly.

It said that the government has decided to continue to provide $40 per month for workers in the garment, textile, footwear and travel product sectors for an additional three months from January to March 2021. Factory owners in this sector also have to pay an additional $30 per worker (a total of $70 per worker per month).

It said that the government will also continue to provide $40 per month to workers in the tourism sector, such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies for an additional three months. Enterprises and businesses owners in the tourism sector must contribute on a voluntary and practical basis in addition.

It added that the government will also continue to exempt all types of monthly taxes for hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies registered with the General Department of Taxation and have business activities in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poipet provinces for an additional three months.

It said that the IDPoor scheme will also continue over this period.

“The government will follow the COVID-19 situation and will prepare more measures to restore the country’s economy during and after the pandemic,” it added.

Vongsey Vissoth, permanent secretary of state of the Ministry of Finance, said that up until now the government has provided more than 700,000 poor and vulnerable families throughout the country with approximately $175 million.

According to the Ministry of Finance, 99.1 percent of the poor households who receive government subsidies are very satisfied because this cash subsidy programme has been implemented in a time of financial hardship.

The global travel industry has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Cambodia has been especially hard-hit and the government has initiated several programmes in response.

The Centre for Policy Studies, a local independent think tank, said recently at a video conference that the four regions facing the most impacts are Phnom Penh, Siem Reap province, coastal areas and the northeast.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said: “The [economic] reduction is not only international tourists but also domestic. About 3,000 travel agencies suspended their business and we estimate 60,000 tourism workers are unemployed.”

 

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