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, and all domestic-registered airlines are eligible.
The government will also make the US$40 (RM170) 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 and stimulate economic growth after the Covid-19 crisis, ” it said.
Ministry of Economy and Finance spokesman Meas Soksensan said on Sunday that through the ministry, the government planned to mobilise US$1.164bil (RM4.9bil) to help restore and boost business viability during and after Covid-19.
Of that amount, US$500mil (RM2.1bil) will be disbursed as loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), US$300mil (RM1.2bil) 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 a total of US$200mil (RM847mil) will be used for credit guarantee schemes.
Soksensan said SME Bank and ARDB had already disbursed about US$30mil (RM127mil) 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.
“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 spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said the minimum tax exemption would help to 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.
“I am certain that it will continue to provide more assistance if the coronavirus predicament persists, ” he said.
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