HANOI- Vietnam plans to spend 347 trillion dong ($15.25 billion) for the 2022-23 period to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic and assist businesses hurt by tough curbs, the country's planning ministry said on Tuesday.

The latest stimulus package, which is well below the proposal of 800 trillion dong submitted in November, includes measures to reduce bank loan interest rates by about 1 percentage point and delay loan payments for businesses.

According to the plan, Vietnam's central bank, which has plan to sell $3 billion of government bonds domestically, should stand ready to intervene in the market and stabilise foreign exchange rates if necessary.

Vietnam's economy grew 2.58% in 2021, slipping from a 2.91% expansion the year before, official data showed. The government is targeting GDP growth for 2022.

The plan also includes 64 trillion dong tax reduction and 110 trillion dong in assistance for businesses.

($1 = 22,752.0000 dong)

(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)