Taiwan to subsidize utility bills for businesses hurt by coronavirus

Government introducing measures to help companies in affected industries to weather crisis

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(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government of Taiwan is considering plans to subsidize utility bills for businesses hurt amid the coronavirus outbreak, with details to be hammered out soon.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has conferred with state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) and Taiwan Water Corporation on the bailout program, reported CNA. A cap on utility fee deductions will be implemented, depending on the extent to which companies have been affected.

According to the preliminary plan, firms which have seen their revenue drop 15 percent for two months compared to the same period last year, or compared to their average revenue in the six months leading up to December 2019, will be eligible for the utility payment reductions.

Taipower rolled out similar offers to help businesses ride out past crises, such as the 2008 financial meltdown. Victims of major earthquakes have also seen their energy payments subsidized.

The government is working to introduce a series of bailout plans for sectors affected by the Wuhan virus (COVID-19). Last week, the Cabinet pledged funds to airlines suffering from financial woes without setting a cap on the loans promised to them.