Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Covid-19 aid extended for tourism, aviation sectors

Covid-19 aid extended for tourism, aviation sectors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tourists visited Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province on February 2020. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Covid-19 aid extended for tourism, aviation sectors

The government has extended the minimum tax exemption for the aviation sector and renewed monthly tax exemptions for the tourism industry, which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Approved on Friday, this is part of its fifth round of stimulus measures aimed at reviving economic growth. The tax exemptions will apply in August and September. All domestic-registered airlines are eligible for it.

The government will also make the $40 payments to suspended employees in tourism-related businesses, including hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies registered with the General Department of Taxation and based in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep and Kampot provinces or Bavet and Poipet towns.

It called on employers to offer them additional perks on a voluntary basis.

“The government will regularly monitor the status of Covid-19 and the regional and global economic and financial situations to examine and evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on key sectors of the economy.

“[It will be] updating and preparing the necessary additional measures to stabilise economic activity as well as stimulate economic growth after the Covid-19 crisis,” it said.

Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesman Meas Soksensan told The Post on Sunday that through the ministry, the government plans to mobilise a total of $1.164 billion to help restore and boost business viability during and after Covid-19.

Of that amount, $500 million will be disbursed as loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), $300 million will be set aside for the State-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia (SME Bank) and Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB), while $200 million will be used for credit guarantee schemes.

Soksensan said SME Bank and ARDB have already disbursed about $30 million in loans to SMEs as of the end of last month.

“SMEs will be able to ensure that their businesses remain afloat and that their workers retain their jobs if they can get their hands on more loans. I believe we are on the right track in regards to the SME sector.

“All business owners are happy to receive tax incentives from the government. If in the next two to three months, the Covid-19 situation improves, we will continue to consider new measures to help them,” he said.

State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said the minimum tax exemption would partially alleviate the burden on airlines operating in Cambodia.

“Given the magnitude of the Covid-19 burden, the government has decided to waive the minimum tax for the aviation sector, and I am certain it will continue to provide more assistance if the novel coronavirus predicament persists,” he said.

The government said it will also continue to provide $40 allowances for suspended factory workers in the textile and footwear sectors.

Owners of temporarily closed companies in the textile and footwear sectors are also required to disburse $30 per month to each of their workers.

The government will also continue to provide cash assistance to poor and vulnerable people for August and September.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped