The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) has approved 756 of 1,224 applications from companies seeking government subsidies due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said yesterday.
Of the approved applications, 280 are from base metal and machinery equipment makers, 188 are from consumer goods and chemical materials manufacturers, and 120 are from information and communication technology companies, IDB data showed.
The remaining applications are from businesses across various sectors, such as design, tourism and knowledge-based industries.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
“Applications are still pouring in and we are receiving an average of 100 applications per day,” IDB Deputy Director-General Yang Chih-ching (楊志清) said at a news briefing in Taipei.
Launched more than two weeks ago, the relief program is part of a wider economic stimulus package launched by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
It is aimed at providing financial aid to businesses from the manufacturing and services sectors that are struggling with the effects of the pandemic.
Under the program, companies with a 50 percent annual decline in sales can receive wage subsidies of up to 40 percent per employee, to a maximum of NT$20,000 (US$667.78), as well as a one-time injection of working capital calculated based on NT$10,000 per employee.
“We have already handed out NT$734 million [in subsidies] to approved companies to help them pay April wages ... benefiting up to 33,957 employees,” Yang said, adding that the ministry plans to hand out another NT$1.12 billion this month and the next.
The ministry has allocated a total of NT$39.6 billion to fund the program as it seeks to subsidize wages of up to 660,000 employees.
Yang also refuted a previous suggestion from the ministry that it would lower the threshold for companies to qualify for the program by including firms that have posted a 30 percent annual decline in sales.
“After discussions with industry representatives, we have decided to maintain the 50 percent threshold while loosening certain criteria,” he said.
Under the new criteria, companies can show a 50 percent decline in sales by comparing with any monthly sales figures last year, instead of only monthly sales registered in January to June, he said.
In other news, the ministry yesterday approved an application from I-MEI Foods Co Ltd (義美食品) to take part in a government incentive program and invest NT$3 billion in a facility for recycling agricultural waste.
The company plans to set up a biomedical operations center equipped with smart production lines in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭區), the ministry said.
The ministry also approved an application from Winner Hydraulics Corp (武漢機械).
The maker of power packs and cartridge valves plans to invest NT$900 million expanding an existing plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區), the ministry said.
Industrial panel maker Mildex Optical Inc (熒茂光學) plans to invest NT$100 million to relocate its core production from China to Taiwan and expand its existing plant in Kaohsiung, the ministry said.
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