The Government working group on economy and agriculture was discussing the ideas and proposals of the business representatives for the preparation of the second anti-corona package, which will be focused primarily on resolving liquidity and effective way out of the crisis. It has formulated proposals in the areas of labour market, finance, taxes, tourism and agriculture.
The economy and agriculture working group, one of five set up by the Government to prepare a new package of measures to help with the epidemic of the new coronavirus, is led by economy minister Zdravko Počivalšek. He said in a remote statement for the media that a network of leverage and guarantees should be put in place to restart the economy after the epidemic ends.
In today’s consultation, the working group, in the presence of representatives of various business sectors and agriculture, and of the ministers of agriculture, labour and public administration discussed the first anti-corona package and made proposals for the preparation of guidelines for the second package in several areas.
In the area of the labour market, the representatives pointed out the possibility of a worker taking an annual leave in several parts, as ordered by the employer, they suggested reducing the working time as in Austria, and considered that it would be reasonable to identify – regarding the crisis allowance – the differences between workers who are overburdened, and the ones that aren’t.
They also suggested the possibility for employers to independently decide on the use of annual leave and on those employees who fulfilled the conditions for retirement.
Business representatives also suggested some changes to the first anti-corona law, including seeking simplification of the work-at-home application process and extending the anticipated obligation of an employee to be temporarily laid-off regarding the return to work at the request of the employer.
The Government will also strive for a 60-days extension for work permits for foreign workers already employed in Slovenia, as well as to provide and support seasonal work in agriculture, according to Počivalšek.
The proposals in the field of finance were focused on rapid, non-bureaucratic assistance to businesses as in Austria – quick liquidity loans to companies, as well as favourable-rate loans and bank loan guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises. Possible solutions also go towards the establishment of a solvency settlement fund, the creation of a guarantee scheme and the deferral of taxes and contributions, said Počivalšek.
In the tax area, the proposals include a delay in VAT payment, duty suspension and a change in VAT on overnight stays and meals. According to Počivalšek, the area of rents and costs associated with the payment of electricity, which would require co-financing, was particularly emphasized.
In the field of tourism, as Počivalšek said, the stakeholders pointed out that the proposal of securities for tourist agencies was appropriate. However, they proposed extending the validity of the measures by three months after the end of the epidemic, as well as devising measures to obtain grants and non-grants. The representatives of tourism also called for the reduction of insurance premiums and VAT, and simplification of procedures in the financial administration.
Both government and business representatives agreed that measures should encourage both domestic and foreign investment, and also formulated proposals for measures to promote agriculture.
Source: STA, aktualno24.si