Myanmar govt preparing plans to counter virus impacts on country’s economy, State Counsellor says

The government on Monday announced that it will implement relief measures to address the possible economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic might bring to the country.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Su Kyi said this in televised address to the country about measures that will be taken to prevent, control and treat the virus if it is found in Myanmar.

“The government will reduce taxes and interest rates so that the people will not suffer and to prevent unemployment, keep factories running and to minimise impacts on the economy of the country. Loans with minimum interest rate and tax exemption plans will be arranged for the most vulnerable businesses in the garment manufacturing sector, hotels and tourism and SMEs. The 2 per cent advance tax on export items will be lifted until the end of this financial year,” Daw Aung San Su Kyi said. 

Last week, the government formed a working committee led by Union Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun to address the impact of coronavirus outbreak. 

The Central Bank of Myanmar also announced last Friday the implementation of a 0.5 percent cut in interest rates. 

“We see that the government’s plan is flexible enough for the current issues in dealing with negative the negative impacts caused by COVID 19. It is important at this time for collaboration between the public and private sectors to address response to crisis,’’ said Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Vice Chair U Maung Maung Lay. 

The UMFCCI announced that it welcomes the speech of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Su Kyi and the measures to address the outbreak.

The national working committee is currently working on short- and long-term plans to address the outbreak. Among the plans are efforts to overcome declines in trade and tourism, creating new jobs and training workers rendered unemployed by factory closures, seeking other sources of raw materials to prevent factory closures, strengthening the country’s supply chain for the garment industry, preparing possible tax exemptions for the SME sector, and low interest rate loans for local businesses should they be needed.