The local industry and commercial sector representative suggested that the SAR government should distribute MOP 15,000 (USD 1,855) in cash and e-vouchers to all Macau residents in three phases to boost economic development in the framework of the latest pandemic outbreak.
Lei Cheok Kuan, chairman of the Federation of Industry and Commerce of the Central and Southern District of Macao, told Exmoo News that two-thirds of local SMEs are currently at risk of bankruptcy and called for the deployment of financial assistance. additional.
Lei suggested authorities distribute 15,000 MOP to local residents in three months, with cash being delivered to residents in the first two months and the remaining money being provided in the form of e-vouchers in the third month.
The president of the association pointed out that local small and medium enterprises “really have no method” to deal with the current economic situation, and whether the future of the economy is optimistic or not depends on the government, because local traders can only passively wait for the authorities. to announce the following pandemic control measures.
Macao SAR authorities have ordered the suspension of all commercial and industrial activities in the city, except those considered important for maintaining the normal functioning of society from July 11 to July 18, the period being extended by four additional days until July. 22 as announced by the government yesterday (Sunday).
In addition, Lei criticized that the process of implementing the financial relief measures proposed by the SAR government is too slow, while two-thirds of local SMEs are already planning to cease their activities due to the crisis. pressure they face.
This Thursday, the Legislative Assembly (LA) will hold a special “videoconference” plenary session, with one of the issues on the table being a budget amendment to accommodate recently announced pandemic relief plans.
Last weekend, the Macau government pledged an additional MOP 10 billion for financial relief measures for the public and other pandemic-related expenses in light of the current Covid-19 outbreak in the country. community.
This brings the total value of financial relief measures to be offered by the government to MOP 20 billion, with the administration already announcing on June 19 that financial relief measures totaling MOP 10 billion would be rolled out, including one-time grants. for employees, the self-employed and businesses; exemption from tourist tax; a fuel subsidy for the taxi sector; and others.
The representative of the local industry and commerce sector pointed out that since residents have different opinions on how economic relief measures should be allocated and the pandemic has had a significant impact on Macao, the government can consider distributing MOP 15,000 directly in cash and online. vouchers to all residents.
Lei said authorities should provide accurate and timely support to the public, to help local businesses maintain operations for a bit longer.
He added that the reason most businesses are still operating is because they are afraid they will be asked to pay their debts immediately after closing, and these local SMEs are unable to pay the debts.
Restaurants are struggling to survive now due to the decline in profits they have made under the suspension of catering services and the impact of high delivery fees charged by takeout platforms, Lei said.
Therefore, the president of the association hopes that the government can distribute 15,000 MOP directly to the inhabitants, in order to promote consumption and internal economic circulation.