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The F&B sector is actually the biggest group of employers in the country aside from the government
The F&B sector is actually the biggest group of employers in the country aside from the government

KUALA LUMPUR: As the Movement Control Order (MCO) goes into its sixth day, the hospitality, F&B and tourism industry is facing its biggest issue - cash conservation.

The biggest cost in these businesses are staff costs and rentals followed by utilities, said Hapa Group in a press statement.

The group, a publishing company specialising in hospitality, F&B and tourism industry, said though there are aids like tax exemption and discounts rendered to hotels through the Economic Stimulus Package, none is applicable for F&B sector.

“The F&B sector is actually the biggest group of employers in the country aside from the government. They may only have 20-200 employees but because there are tens of thousands nationwide, the total number is in the millions,” the statement continued.

With a possibility of prolonged movement control, these companies could collapse and wipe out thousands of jobs throughout the country.

“Any form of relief is critical in order to keep the industries and businesses afloat, ease their cash flow and to avert a potential loss of jobs in the hospitality, F&B and tourism industries,” it said.

The Hapa Group called for the F&B sector to be given the same aid hotels are getting as part of the stimulus package which was announced last month.

These include the same deferment of income tax payments and revision of profit estimates for 2020, exemption for HRDF levies and for a six-month SST and same government funding for human capital training, digital and skilled courses .

It also called for discount and suspension of utilities and assessment charges for six months, mandatory waiver of rentals and a six-month moratorium on bank loan payments for the landlords, approval from insurance companies for claims made by companies and individuals due to the Force Majeure and reduction of BLR to below 3% and loan rate to BLR + 0%.

The group also proposed an immediate increased funding to SMEs in the F&B sector through a simple and smooth approval process and their licenses payments for six months to be deferred.

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