March 26, 2020 / 3:28 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Vietnam Finance Ministry plans $3.39 bln package to help virus-hit businesses

(Adds details and background)

By Khanh Vu

HANOI, March 26 (Reuters) - Vietnam’s Finance Ministry said on Thursday it plans to offer a package of 80 trillion dong ($3.39 billion) to support businesses hard hit by the coronavirus.

The virus has left firms in Vietnam’s manufacturing industry suffering shortages due to supply chain disruptions. Vietnamese exporters have also seen export contracts cancelled or delayed.

The ministry’s offer will be in the form of delaying the collection of value added tax, corporate income tax and land rent for five months, it said in a statement on its website.

The package, which is subject to approval by the prime minister, is an extended version of a $1.16 billion plan the country announced early this month, according to the ministry.

Last week, the State Bank of Vietnam cut its policy rates to prop up economic activities.

Vietnam has reported 153 cases of the coronavirus but no deaths, according to the health ministry. Tens of thousands of people are under quarantine out of concern they may have been exposed to the virus. ($1 = 23,620 dong) (Reporting by Khanh Vu Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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