Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Vietnamese Government has expeditiously taken necessary steps to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the lives of Vietnamese citizens. One of the important decisions was the issuance of Directive No. 11/CT-TTg of the Prime Minister on urgent objectives and solutions to assist businesses facing difficulties and assurances of social welfare amid Covid-19 pandemic (“Directive 11”) on 4 March 2020.

Objectives

Directive 11 focuses on minimizing the effect of Covid-19 on the nation’s economy. The Prime Minister requests competent authorities, enterprises and people to follow three key objectives, including:

  1.  Carrying out measures stated in other directives of the Government, the Prime Minister, and national and local Steering Committees for the prevention and control of Covid-19.
  2. Prevention and control of Covid-19 must be associated with socio-economic development.
  3. Analyzing the impacts of Covid-19 to accelerate the process of restructuring and reorganizing business activities, aiming at building an independent and sustainable economy that can adapt to external and internal fluctuations.

To achieve the abovementioned objects, Directive 11 stipulates several solutions and tasks:

  1. Facilitate access to capital, credit, tax, electronic payments;
  2. Reduce administrative procedures and fees for enterprises;
  3. Facilitate production and businesses to promote import and export activities;
  4. Accelerate the recovery process of tourism and transportation;
  5. Stimulate the progress of capital disbursement;
  6. Resolve labor issues;
  7. Promote mass communications, provide official, transparent and objective news about the pandemic.

The outcome

The objectives of Directive 11 have been reflected in several of the following legal regulations issued by different competent authorities.

On 3 February, 2020, Decree 15/2020/ND-CP on penalties for administrative violations against regulations on postal services, telecommunications, radio frequencies, information technology and electronic transactions (“Decree 15”) was issued. Decree 15 took effect on 15 April, 2020, and stipulates in detail the penalties, fines and remedy measures in the IT industry and electronic transactions. It prevents people from taking advantage of the pandemic to spread fake news to gain popularity, or to deceive others on cyberspace through false transactions. Therefore, Decree 15 has helped to facilitate electronic payments and promote mass communications.

On 18 March, 2020, Circular 14/2020/TT-BTC which amends Circular No. 127/2018/TT-BTC dated 27 December, 2018 of the Ministry of Finance prescribing prices of securities-related services rendered by stock exchanges and Vietnam securities depositories to assist organizations and individuals facing difficulties amidst the Covid-19 pandemic (“Circular 14”) was issued. Circular 14, which took effect on 19 March 2020, officially reduced or exempted about 15 types of fees relating to securities services for organizations and individuals of such services. Thus, this is an important decision which not only helps organizations and individuals, but also the entire securities market, so as not to be damaged severely by the pandemic. Circular 14 reflects the aims of Directive 11.

Lastly, on 8 April, 2020, Decree 41/2020/ND-CP on extension of tax and land use fees “(Decree 41”) was issued. By taking effect on the signing date, Decree 41 immediately reduced the pressure for thousands of enterprises and individuals as it extended deadlines for value-added tax, corporate income tax, personal income tax and land rent. Decree 41 has helped to facilitate production and businesses and remove tax difficulties for organizations and individuals.

Conclusion

Directive 11 is one of the most important steps of the Government in the difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic. With clear objectives and detailed tasks set out in the Directive, the Vietnamese Government has established an effective process of developing the economy, while keeping the pandemic under control. With the ongoing battle against Covid-19, it is certain that more regulations will be issued so as to help the economy recover.  However, the spirit and objectives, as set forth in Directive 11, will remain in such related regulations in the future.

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DISCLAIMER

This LBN newsletter are NOT legal advice. Readers are advised to retain a qualified lawyer, should they wish to seek legal advice. VCI Legal are certainly among those and happy to be retained, yet VCI Legal is not to be hold responsible should any reader choose to interpret/apply the regulations after reading this LBN without engaging a qualified lawyer.