The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said that it would subsidize up to 40 percent of workers’ salaries for businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by a NT$39.6 billion (US$1.31 billion) budget — part of a newly expanded NT$1.05 trillion economic stimulus package approved by the Executive Yuan on Thursday — the ministry plans to assist companies with employee wages to help prevent job cuts.
Companies facing an annual drop in sales of at least 50 percent for two consecutive months can apply for the financial aid, which would cover up to 40 percent of their employees’ monthly salaries for a maximum of three months, the ministry said.
Photo: Taipei Times
The ministry said that it would also subsidize a one-time injection of working capital for such firms, based on their number of employees, and hand out a 30 percent discount on utility rates.
The financial aid comes on top of another plan launched last week, which includes a 5 to 10 percent discount on utility rates for companies with at least a 15 percent decline in revenue on an annual basis.
The ministry said that it is also offering to defer rent for one to three years with no interest for companies operating production sites in the nation’s industrial parks and export processing zones.
While the ministry has aimed to shelter local industries from a global economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, its approach toward boosting consumer spending has been relatively timid.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) on Thursday announced that a budget for coupons, which are to be issued by the end of the month and would be valid for up to three months, had been increased to NT$11 billion.
Capped at NT$1,000 per person per month, the coupons would mainly be redeemable when using mobile payment systems and consist of a 25 percent discount on purchases — translating into spending of at least NT$4,000 per person.
The coupons would not be usable for purchases on e-commerce platforms, delivery services, convenience stores, supermarkets or hypermarkets, which have reported growing sales amid the virus crisis, the ministry said.
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