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Homeland Security

Cabinet plans to add NT$200 billion for COVID-19 relief

ROC Central News Agency

07/09/2020 09:38 PM

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Thursday directed that the government's COVID-19 relief funds be expanded by adding an additional budget of approximately NT$200 billion (US$6.79 billion), according to Cabinet spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘).

The Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens amended in April allows the government to earmark a special budget of up to NT$210 billion to cover the related measures, with the option of doubling that if necessary.

With the global pandemic showing no signs of abating, Su directed the allocation of the additional budget of NT$200 billion to help businesses affected by the pandemic and fund the procurement of disease prevention supplies and the purchase, research and development of vaccines, according to Ting.

The additional amount will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for approval, according to Ting.

Commenting on the planned special budget, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Thursday that the ministry will formulate a bailout plan particularly for businesses in the manufacturing as well as conference and exhibition industries hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also Thursday, the opposition Kuomintang said that although the pandemic has been brought under control in Taiwan, the local travel and tourism industry still suffer from travel restrictions and border controls.

It urge the government to roll out a new bailout plan and complementary measures for businesses in the sector as soon as possible.

The KMT also suggested that the government talk with neighboring countries that have properly contained the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and can collaborate with Taiwan on measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading while still opening its doors to each other's tourists to help bail out local travel agencies that are having financial difficulties due to a drop in inbound tourists.

The government should also encourage domestic tourists to travel to different tourism destinations and not converge in the same ones during the summer break, through various policies or subsidies, the KMT said.

(By Ku Chuan, Wu Po-wei and Evelyn Kao)

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