Support package quickly deployed to ease COVID-19 difficulties

by NDO03 May 2020 Last updated at 14:00 PM

A local receives financial support from the VND62 trillion state support package at the People's Committee of Dien Bien Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, on April 30, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)
A local receives financial support from the VND62 trillion state support package at the People's Committee of Dien Bien Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, on April 30, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh) - Localities across the nation are urgently deploying a VND62 trillion (US$2.7 billion) support package from the State to ease difficulties for people suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Facing the complicated situation of COVID-19 which has caused negative impacts on people’s lives, the Government issued Resolution No. 42/NQ-CP dated April 9, 2020 on measures to support people in difficulty due to the pandemic, while the Prime Minister also issued Decision No. 15/2020/QĐ-TTg dated April 24, 2020 outlining the support in detail. Accordingly, about 20 million people affected by the pandemic will benefit from the social security support policy under a support package worth more than VND62 trillion.

It is considered a comprehensive support package, demonstrating the Party's humane policy and the role of the State in always taking care of people's lives. The VND62 trillion social security support package is a huge, unprecedented and urgent budget to support people and businesses, helping to ease the hardships caused by the pandemic. Grasping that spirit, right from the beginning of April, localities across the nation have made great efforts to quickly deploy the package and start providing support to social welfare beneficiary groups covered by the support policy.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Le Quan affirmed that the Government's support policy is unprecedented, showing the humanity and concern of the Party and the State towards people in this difficult period. However, according to Quan, not every citizen who loses their job or lost their income is supported under the package, only employees who lost their jobs and people who have lost their livelihood and thereby have a living standard and income below the minimum level.

Specifically, there are seven groups of beneficiaries under the policy, including: employees working under the labour contract regime who must postpone the performance of labour contracts and take unpaid leave; labourers with terminated labour contracts but who are not eligible for unemployment benefits; employees without labour contracts that have lost their jobs; employers with financial difficulties who have paid at least 50% of the salaries of their employees from April to June; household businesses with tax revenue of less than VND100 million per year who temporarily suspended business from April 1, 2020; poor and near poor households; people with meritorious services to the revolution who are currently receiving a monthly social allowance and social protection beneficiaries who are receiving a monthly social allowance.

Ngo Van Quy, Vice Chairman of Hanoi Municipal People's Committee, said that Hanoi has reviewed more than 1.48 million people eligible for receiving financial support from the social security package, with the expected amount reaching nearly VND3.5 trillion. Immediately after the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 15, Hanoi directed its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Department of Finance to distribute the assistance. Accordingly, the capital city has strived to provide support first to the beneficiary groups of people with meritorious services to the nation, social protection beneficiaries and poor and near poor households.

Le Minh Tan, Head of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, also said that until now, the city has disbursed financial support totalling VND306 billion to 102,000 people who have lost their jobs and are ineligible for unemployment insurance, as well as teachers at non-public kindergartens and preschools which are affected by COVID-19. In addition, the city is also acting as a focal point to support mobile lottery sellers, coming in at more than 20,000 people. It is expected that by the end of April, Ho Chi Minh City will have provided support to about 570,000 people with a total budget of VND1 trillion.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said that, on a legal basis, localities have grounds to implement the support policy to their people. They need to follow the principle regarding those who suffer from a deepening reduced income and are failing to ensure their minimum living standard and identify the target groups. Some localities that have higher poverty lines than the national average poverty line will be allowed to apply the local poverty line.

Dung also suggested that localities and units should provide assistance via online public services. The disbarment is still made mainly by post, social insurance and some banks. Currently, some banks have applied for registration of account opening and free money transfer for policy beneficiaries.

The minister suggested provinces and cities should complete financial disbursement for the poor and near-poor households, as well as people with meritorious services those who are the targets of social assistance policies first. “However, this does not mean that other target groups are not enjoying the support immediately. In particular, groups of freelance workers who are facing difficulties should also be prioritised for early deployment of the package,” Minister Dung noted.

He also emphasised that the support should reach the right people in an open and transparent manner. In addition to the clearly defined target groups, the relevant ministries and agencies will also soon issue documents and circulars detailing the support for other target groups. “Besides the transparent rules, it is important to urgently disburse the package. I would like to say that disadvantaged people are not waiting for it. They are really in need and they need support right away. This is not only our responsibility but an order from our heart,” said Minister Dung.

Dung suggested all ministries, agencies and local authorities comprehensively implement Decision No. 15 by the Prime Minister to ensure transparency and accuracy. In the process of implementation, high responsibility and accountability to the National Assembly, the Government and the people are needed, along with regular monitoring of the implementation in the local units to avoid wastefulness, in addition to strictly handling violations, if any.

Regarding the monitoring, Minister Dung asked Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committees at all levels and member organisations to participate in the monitoring process right from the first stage of reviewing the support list. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will set up a hotline and a portal to update related information and respond to queries.

In this regard, Tran Thanh Man, President of the VFF Central Committee, said that in order to timely implement Resolution No. 42, Decision No. 15 and distribute the support policies from the Government to the right subjects and not to cause any negative cases in implementation at all levels, all the agencies and authorities need to deploy the support policy under the motto: "Close coordination - Broad propaganda - Specific assignment - Clear guidance - Deploying methodically - Public results".


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