Royal Government Takes Another Step Against COVID-19 Impacts

Phnom Penh, March 04, 2020 — The Royal Government of Cambodia released here this afternoon another step of its intervention and preparation to respond to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The move was briefly announced by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia when presiding over here this afternoon the closing ceremony of the 41st Annual Conference on Health.

On Feb. 24, 2020, we already introduced necessary intervention to alleviate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, especially on tourism and industrial sectors, and this time is another step of the intervention, he underlined.

“I would like to inform all institutions that they have to cut off up to 50 percent of their expenditure this year, except the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Office of the Council of Ministers which are required to reduce 25 percent,” he said.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen advised all the government institutions not to request to increase their budget because not only their request will not be accepted, but also their spending will be reduced. Anyway, the spending for civil servants’ and armed personnel’s monthly salaries as well as the supporting budget for them during the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben Festival will not be affected, he stressed.

The Premier also encouraged them to save budget, for example by reducing their foreign missions as well as the number of members of their delegations.

Since the COVID-19’s outbreak in December 2019, preliminary research estimated that two key areas in Cambodia are the most affected – tourism and garment.

In this context, the Royal Government has maintained its close monitoring on the affected enterprises and companies, and decided to introduce the first emergency intervention to control the impacts on the sector in some areas for the purpose of ensuring economic and social stability.
1) Assisting the most affected companies so that they can stay in business during this difficult time; (2) – assist the workers, in case of loss or suspension, to stabilise their lives and improve their skills and productivity for the future; and (3) supporting growth, especially for the SMEs, as they are the backbone of the national economy.

At the same time, the measures put in place will not only reduce the impacts, but also enhance the competitiveness of those sectors and the economy as a whole, when the epidemic has passed.

Moreover, all registered hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap province will be exempt from the monthly tax from February to May, and all of them will not be subject to audit for the whole year 2020.

Besides, the organisation of different events (meetings, workshops, short trainings), especially in Siem Reap, the promotion of travel cooperation with neighbouring countries, the increase of days for Angkor visit (but not of the entrance fees), provision of trainings for the workers who lost their jobs during this period are among the measures.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen said some of the textile and garment factories in Cambodia have also suffered from the impacts caused by COVID-19 due to the lack of raw materials from China.

According to the Prime Minister, the Royal Government has already prepared another round of intervention to tackle the impacts of COVID-19 epidemic.

By Khan Sophirom