The government has reimplemented fiscal and monetary measures that were introduced last year in March to support sectors that are heavily impacted by the second wave of the coronavirus currently happening in Brunei.

This was said by the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah during a press conference on Thursday.

The measures, he explained will run for three months, commencing 1 August 2021 until 31 December 2021, starting with the deferment of government-led retirement schemes; the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) and the Supplemental Contributory Pensions (SCP) for all local employees working in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Ministry of Finance and Economy building. Image: The Bruneian

This measure will only apply to employees who earn monthly salary of $1,500 or less. Fund contributions will be paid in advance by the government, to ensure that the annual dividends of private-sector employees are not affected.

Companies, however, will have to pay back the government within one year after the period that has been stipulated has ended. Businesses are encouraged to file an application to TAP through email at payments@tap.com.bn.

There will also be a contract extension for iReady apprentices until 31 December 2021.

SCP funds for the self-employed will also be be borne by the government to support self-employed individuals who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure financial security through a survivorship fund.

The government will also be subsidising 25 per cent of wages for MSME employees earning $1,500 or less in an effort to shoulder the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah in a press conference. Image: Yusri Adanan

In light of this, the government is seeking the cooperation of companies by submitting the relevant form via email at payments@tap.com.bn. The form can be downloaded through the website www.tap.com.bn 

Moreover, a discount of 30 per cent will be given for MSMEs in affected sectors that are renting government-owned buildings as well as a 50 per cent reduction in corporate income taxes where to be eligible, companies are required to file according to the timeframe set by the ministry’s Revenue Division.

Meanwhile, a 20 percent discount on water and electricity bills will also be provided to businesses and exemptions will be imposed on customs and excise duty on hygiene products until 31 December 2021.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew then assured the public that the ministry will constantly monitor the prices of goods such as chicken, meat, eggs and other necessities such as hand sanitisers and Surgical Face Masks as stipulated in the Consumer Protection Order (2011) and Price Control Act (Chapter 142).

The minister went on to announce that on behalf of Brunei Darussalam Central Bank and the Brunei Association of Banks, measures including the deferment of loan repayments and the exemption of bank fees and charges that were introduced last year will continue until 31 December 2021.

For more information on the measures, the public can contact their respective banks, or contact BDCB at 8318388 or via email info@bdcb.gov.bn.

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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