The impacts of the virus Covid-19 virus on the economy and in the life of Macau residents have led the government to announce a package of measures to support companies and individuals, according to an official announcement made on Thursday.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, said on Thursday that the economic assistance measures were designed to alleviate the financial pressure on residents and various sectors, with a view to “stabilising the economy and protecting employment.”
The programme includes five main areas including reduction of taxes and fees to reduce the burden on businesses and residents, promotion of assistance and interest subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises, in order to support their survival, by strengthening measures to support vulnerable families, improving training to secure employment and issuing electronic consumer coupons to encourage and accelerate the economy.
Lei Wai Nong stressed that the current situation, within the context of prevention of epidemics, is still very serious and, once again urged the population to stay at home as long as possible to reduce group activities and not to leave Macau.
The Secretary recalled that the gaming industry has been suspended between 5 and 19 February and added that its reopening will depend on the technical assessment of various factors, in addition to administrative decisions.
“This industry can only be resumed when security conditions are met,” he said, adding that all measures and decisions should be carefully considered and assessed in all aspects.
One of the measures addressed to Macau residents is a coupon worth 3,000 patacas (US$375) which will have to be spent locally, “a measure worth 2.2 billion patacas to bolster the economy,” as well as health vouchers worth 600 patacas, a business tax rebate of up to 20,000 patacas and payment of water rates in the three months from March to May.
The bulk of the measures announced by the government is focused on companies, with deductions for supplementary income tax, a variety of tax deductions, exemption from tourism tax and return of the Road Tax for 2020.
Every small and medium-sized business will also have the right to an interest-free loan of up to 600,000 patacas, interest subsidy for loans already secured and exemption from payment of rents on buildings owned by public authorities for a period of three months.
The document listing all the measures adopted by the Government of Macau in order to restore a semblance of normality after the outbreak of the virus that first appeared in Wuhan, Hubei province, can be found at: https://news.gov.mo/detail/pt/N20BMQ4RQa?3. (macauhub)