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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Further to the $30 billion Anti-epidemic Fund, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the Government will introduce a concessionary low-interest loan to boost local enterprises in need of support.

Introduced under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme, the loan with 100% guarantee by the Government will open for application for six months.

A maximum loan of $2 million, with a repayment period up to three years, will be offered to eligible enterprises.

The Government will also reduce profits tax and waive rates for non-domestic properties, business registration fees as well as registration fees for company annual returns.

The rate waiver is estimated to benefit 420,000 non-domestic properties and reduce government revenue by $3.2 billion. About 141,000 taxpayers will enjoy the proposed profits tax cut while 1.5 million business operators and 1.4 million companies will benefit from the two fee waivers.

Mr Chan noted that he will continue to implement relief measures announced last year, providing subsidies and waivers to cover electricity, water and sewage charges for four extra months.

Local recycling enterprises will also receive a rental subsidy for six months.

Rentals for government properties and properties covered by short-term and temporary waivers will also see a 50% reduction for six months

Additionally, hirers of civic centres under the Leisure & Cultural Services Department will receive 50% off in hire charges for half a year.

Fees and rent for cruise lines and terminal tenants will also be reduced.

Mr Chan added that such initiatives will cost a total of $18.3 billion.

He hopes they will not only support enterprises but safeguard jobs for more than three million workers.

He appealed to employers and employees to stand together while riding out the difficult times.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News