Govt announces MVR2.5b stimulus to offset economic dent


Government is striving for maximum transparency of spending on COVID-19 related expenditure

The Maldives government on Thursday, 19 March 2020, has announced an MVR2.5 billion stimulus package due to the economic dent in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The viral pandemic has severely affected the island nation’s economy; which majorly revolves around the tourism sector.

While the island nation has reported a total of 13 positive cases of the virus, all of the cases were reported from tourism avenues. Meanwhile, Maldives government has temporarily ceased arrivals and traveling on several countries, which further places constrains on the industry.

The government has been taking safety measures to ensure the viral pandemic does not place a major setback on the country; and to ensure this state on Wednesday announced the executive; inclusive of both President of Maldives and Vice President along with the cabinet and Maldives Parliament members will have a salary reduction by 20%.

On Thursday, during a press conference Minister of Finance Mr Ibrahim Ameer confirmed state decided to provide MVR1.5 billion worth in working capital to local businesses and entrepreneurs.

The aid on working capital will be levied with a 6% interest rate including a six-month grace period, with a total settlement period spanning 3 years.

Moreover, Minister Ameer further noted state was currently attempting to cease principle and interest payments on loans acquired by local businesses for a duration of six-months in light of the economic setback faced collectively in Maldives.

Minister further asserted businesses participating on the state initiated economic aid package is entailed not to redundant any of its employees; as a strict condition.

Earlier, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had estimated the state will face a loss in revenue from tourism industry between USD135.9 million to USD446.6 million. He also expressed fears of Maldives hitting an economic recession.