Faced with a worsening severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela and the world, which has troubled international markets and the Venezuelan economy—also affected by the blockade and the coercive measures imposed by the United States and Europe—the Venezuelan Executive has designed new policies with which to protect economic stability and maintain social services.
In this sense, the Executive Vice President of the Republic, Delcy Rodríguez, detailed this Wednesday, April 7, the set of economic and financial support measures for workers, families, micro and small businesses, which President Nicolás Maduro announced last Tuesday.
Social protection measures
• Stay At Home checks: The “protection of the Patria System checks will be maintained to serve the most vulnerable Venezuelans,” the top official declared. She stressed that during the months of April and May, a special stimulus check system will be resumed. This includes the Stay At Home check aimed at 2.1 million workers in the private sector, in micro and small businesses, as they have had to stay at home to respect the quarantine. She also pointed out that those in charge of these companies must send the payroll of workers to the Patria System to later process them and issue the respective checks using the Patria system.
• Stimulus checks for “self-employed” workers: one of the other measures is the allocation of a special checks to “non-dependent” workers. These will help those citizens who work on their own, without depending on the State, or who survive from the income of their own business. In this category, at least four million Venezuelans will benefit, with a bonus to be paid in “two installments,” which began to be issued on Tuesday, April 6, according to the vice president.
On other actions of the Executive
• Prohibition of evictions from commercial and residential premises: the judicial authorities will be guarantors of this exceptional measure that entails the total prohibition of evictions “until the month of September.” This decision is a consequence of the contraction of the economy, by which people are affected in their commitment to pay their rent on time.
On March 23, 2020, Decree No. 4167 was issued, which ratified a prohibition on layoffs as an exceptional measure to protect workers in the midst of the pandemic. In this sense, it will be ratified again until December 2021.
Waivers of payments
To protect the family economy in the midst of the pandemic, Rodríguez ratified the announcement of President Nicolás Maduro, on benefits for users whose water and electricity bills are handled under the Patria system. She informed that they will receive a discount of 25% on the rate for the months of April and May.
Rodríguez also referred to the governing body of the banking sector. She recalled the prohibition to reclassify credit risk, since it is unfair to downgrade the classification of any debtor in the midst of a pandemic. This means that whoever has a bank loan and does not pay their installments in a timely manner in the midst of the exceptional state due to the pandemic, should not be reclassified as a late debtor or prevented from receiving any other credit in the future.
Productive loans redirection
“Loans that the banks give are intended to boost food production,” stated the official, and reiterated that those loans should prioritize suppliers for the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP). In this way, the Executive seeks to guarantee the production and food security of the Venezuelan people with this credit line.
Another of the presidential actions that the vice president spoke about has to do with the decree imposing tariffs on imported products. She argued that “there can be no inequality” in the treatment of imported and domestic products. They also expect an increase in foreign exchange income due to import duties.
She spoke about a “public procurement bill” in which the State is urged to privilege the purchase of national products over foreign ones, with the aim of boosting national production.
Support for SMEs
New micro, small and medium-sized companies which are incorporated in 2021, will not pay fees with SAREN (notaries) or in the Mercantile Registry. Nor will they pay income tax on income if they do not exceed 400 petros per year generated before December 31, 2021, as long as they declare their revenue.
Finally, Delcy Rodríguez assured that each and every one of these measures are designed to guarantee the social protection of the Venezuelan people.
Featured image: Venezuelan VP Delcy Rodriguez explains in detail the economic measures announced by President Maduro on Wednesday, April 6, to counter the economic effects of a second wave of COVID-19’s. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Venezuelan Vice Presidency.
(RedRadioVE) by Daniela Jimenez
Translation: Orinoco Tribune