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Govt postpones payment of customs duty, taxes

The government will reduce and defer the payment of customs duty, taxes and various fees in a bid to regulate goods prices and address labour problems during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone issued a statement on Thursday saying this was a preliminary measure by the government to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, and to ease the hardships being felt by the general public.

The measures include extending the payment period for 2020 from April 30 to June 30. 

In addition, the payment of personal income tax will be deferred for people whose income is less than 5 million kip. This measure will be in force for three months, from April to June 2020.

The payment of business tax will also be deferred for the months of April, May and June for people earning an annual income of 50 million to 400 million kip.

There will also be tax exemptions on all types of goods associated with prevention, protection and preparedness for the outbreak of Covid-19.

The interest rate charged by the central bank will be reduced from 4 percent to 3 percent, while the compulsory deposit ratio of kip and foreign currencies will be adjusted to help put money into the economy.

Commercial banks will be encouraged to extend the time required to pay back loans, both the principal and the interest. Interest rates and fees will be lowered and banks will be urged to provide new loans to debtors and affected businesses.

The price of all types of fuel will be revised at intervals, based on global fuel prices. The government will issue orders on the inspection and regulation of goods prices in provinces across the country. 

Prices will be set for all types of face mask, the import of essential items will be eased, and adequate medical equipment will be ordered for use during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Sonexay also recommended that the ministries and sectors concerned consider reducing the price of electricity, water, internet and other services to help businesses and allow households to reduce their living costs.

He also asked the relevant sectors to consider welfare measures for workers who were laid off by businesses affected by the virus outbreak.

In addition, the relevant agencies were asked to source funding from development partners, business and all sectors of society.

The government will adjust its economic growth targets to match the current state of affairs, maintain stable currency exchange rates, and maintain the confidence of foreign investors by ensuring that conditions are convenient for them.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 02, 2020) [12:04 PM]

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