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New relief package to expedite assistance amid latest COVID-19 wave

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a National Development Council briefing on a relief package for the latest COVID-19 wave that has hit Taiwan. Now that disease control efforts are in full swing, economic relief work must be hastened as well, the premier said. The government's relief efforts will be based on three principles: speeding up assistance for individuals, strengthening relief for industries, and increasing the amount of bank loans available. Relief will take the form of rescue subsidies, loans and tax reductions.

To help businesses hard hit by COVID-19, the Executive Yuan on May 13 proposed amendments to Articles 11 and 19 of the Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens for the Legislature's approval. The Executive Yuan also proposed extending the special act through June 30, 2022, and raising the ceiling on the special budget from NT$420 billion (US$15.1 billion) to NT$630 billion (US$22.6 billion).

Ministries and agencies were directed to inventory operations to identify, within maximum budgetary allowances, potential beneficiaries under their authority in most critical need of aid. Allocation of funds and detailed relief measures should then be mapped out without delay in order to prepare for follow-up work and early initiation. Quick action on relief would achieve the maximum benefit in the shortest time, said Premier Su.

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