China ups measures to support catering, accommodation sectors amid epidemic

Beijing: China has taken multiple countermeasures to ease the financial pressure of the catering and accommodation sectors amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

As the epidemic has had a great impact on the sectors, the value-added tax will be waived from their revenues, Xian Guoyi, an official with the MOC told a press conference Wednesday.

In the meantime, enterprises in the hardest-hit Hubei Province will be exempted from pension, unemployment and work-related injury insurance premiums from February to June this year with a 5-percent electricity price cut, while the payment of the housing accumulation fund will be deferred, Xian said, China Economic Net reported.

Small and medium-sized enterprises outside Hubei will also be exempt from the fees above from February to April, and large enterprises’ fees will be halved, according to Xian.

Localities have also carried out preferential measures including rent relief for catering and accommodation enterprises, insurance and subsidies.

Xian also noted that 22 percent of the enterprises had benefitted from the policies by Tuesday, and some large accommodation and catering firms had received loan support from banks.

The sectors are expected to see rapid recovery after the epidemic as the MOC will introduce more policies to support them, Xian said.