Cabinet unveils measures for businesses hurt by virus scare

02/17/2020 11:04 PM
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Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) / CNA file photo
Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus scare will get access to credit as part of a NT$60 billion (US$2 billion) government proposal to support domestic businesses, Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said Monday.

The proposal, to be financed from tax surpluses from previous fiscal years, will be reviewed at a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 20 and submitted to the Legislative Yuan after its approval, according to Kung. If passed, it will be in effect for one year.

Relief measures in the plan will include providing access to loans, interest rate subsidies and tax deductions, Kung said.

In terms of loan relief, the plan would allow the affected companies to extend repayment periods of existing loans and subsidize interest of up to 1.06 percent, Kung said.

If an SME that needs a short-term cash infusion or working capital promises that it will not reduce wages or lay off employees, it will be eligible to get a credit line of up to NT$5 million for loans fully guaranteed by the government.

The government will also subsidize up to 2.095 percent interest on the loan for six months, Kung said.

If the outbreak is brought under control, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will also guarantee up to 80-90 percent of new loans to enterprises to help them get back on their feet and subsidize 1.095 percent interest on the loan for one year.

The Labor Ministry will also provide training allowances or salary subsidies for employees who take unpaid leave, with companies with employees on unpaid leave to each get up to NT$1.9 million in subsidies.

Also part of the plan are NT$2 billion worth of discount coupons for use at night markets, traditional markets and retail stores, Kung said.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao) enditem/ls

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