PETALING JAYA: Food & beverage, hospitality and tourism industry players are pleading for the government to take immediate action to save business from shutting down and more workers from getting laid off amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to HAPA Group Sdn Bhd.

In a statement, it highlighted that the sector faces the most dire consequences, with a projected decline in revenue of 83%, with no end in sight for the outbreak-driven downturn.

“Despite the drop in revenue, obligations remain, including payments to landlords, utility companies, banks, the taxman, suppliers and not forgetting wages.

“F&B, hospitality, tourism establishments and their workers simply will not be able to survive this disaster without the appropriate help and support from the authorities and the government,” it said.

To keep businesses afloat and avert job losses in the sector, industry players are calling for the authorities to waive all accrued interest and penalty charges applicable during the 6-month loan moratorium period.

In addition, they outlined the need for interest-free or soft loans as a means for crisis mitigation to assist businesses with their cash flow and to enable them to survive over the next six months.

The wish list also includes provision for employers to allow unpaid leave and reduction in salaries during the movement control order period as well as a subsidy to cover 80% of employees salary for those earning below RM4,000 per month.

It also called for a six month suspension of EPF, Socso and HRDF contributions from employers and for the authorities to provide grants to subsidise the cost of wages for six month.

In regards to taxation, the industry players have called for a deferment of monthly income tax and corporate tax payments for six months along with a 6-month installment payment scheme for those taxes.

They also asked for a waiver of the sales and service tax for six months for the industry, and thereafter an introduction of a softer version of SST for all.

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