Government-led retirement schemes; the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) and the Supplemental Contributory Pensions (SCP) will be deferred for Brunei’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) for six months beginning April, said the Second Minister of Finance and Economy (MOFE).
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah who is also the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office in a joint press conference held at the Ministry of Health revealed that the government has rolled out more interim measures to help shoulder the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus towards the local economy.
All interim measures will be initiated beginning next month, according to the minister, and will encompass a number of facilities.
Deferment of TAP and SCP
This applies to all local employees who earn less than $1500 and working in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with less than 100 employees, across all sectors.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCP fund for the self-employed to be borne by the government
This move is to support self-employed individuals who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure financial security through a survivorship fund.
Discounts for four targeted sectors
For MSMEs in the tourism, hospitality, food & beverage and land & water transportation sectors, discounts will be provided by the government to cushion the profit decline caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
A discount of 30 per cent has been given for MSMEs renting government-owned buildings as well as a 50 per cent reduction in corporate income taxes.
A 15 percent discount on water and electricity bills will also be provided to the MSMEs.
MSME adoption of e-platforms
Darussalam Enterprise will be working with a number of service providers to support businesses in marketing their products online.
The move is intended to incentivise businesses, particularly MSMEs, in utilising e-platforms as a vehicle of growth and sustainability.
Contract extension for iReady apprentices
The Manpower Planning and Employment Council will be extending the contract of iReady apprentices for up to six months, particularly for those whose contract ends before September 2020.
Exemptions of customs and excise duty on hygiene products
The minister explained that the measure will be put into place as a means to assist buyers and sellers in dealing with the rising demand of hygiene-related products resulting in the COVID-19 outbreak in the sultanate.
COVID-19 Relief Fund
During the press conference, YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew also announced that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the establishment of the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The fund will allow the public to give donations that will help curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the sultanate. Businesses, as well as the public, can make their donations via BIBD online bank transfer beginning March 21.
Payment can be submitted to ‘COVID-19 Relief Fund’ at Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD)’s Current Account which account number is 1010070123
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN