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Maldives to subsidise water, electricity amid COVID-19 pandemic

20-03-2020

Male, The government of Maldives has decided to subsidise the cost of water and electricity for the next two months in order to provide financial support to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.According to local media, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on Friday said that 19.5 million US dollars has been allocated by the government to pay for 40 per cent of all electricity bills and 30 per cent of all water bills in the months of April and May.Ameer said that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the global economy, and Maldives' decision to declare a State of Public Health Emergency would cause unavoidable losses for the country's economy.

Tourist arrivals to Maldives could fall by 12 to 35 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maldives' GDP growth is projected to be between 0.5 to -5.6 per cent this year compared to an initial estimate of 7.5 per cent.Ameer said that businesses should use the working capital assistance provided by the government in order to minimize loss of jobs. He added that protecting jobs would ensure domestic consumption and assist the country in making an economic recovery. The Maldives government has taken several measures to support tourism, fish exports, and small and medium enterprises amid a COVID-19 outbreak that has seen 13 infections in the country so far.

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