Fiji announces stimulus package to help fight COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 17, 2020
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SUVA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government announced Friday night a 2 billion Fijian dollars (about 926.6 million U.S. dollars) stimulus package to help the island nation battle the impact of COVID-19.

Announcing the package while delivering the 2020/2021 Budget in the parliament, Fiji's Minister of Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the Fijian government spend will stand at about 3.67 billion Fijian dollars (about 1.7 billion U.S. dollars) while the revenue is projected at about 1.6 billion Fijian dollars (about 741.3 million U.S. dollars).

The deficit will stand at 20.2 percent debt and pushing the debt to the country's GDP ratio to 83.4 percent. To deal with the deficit, the Fijian government will have to resort to borrowing.

This is the second stimulus package announced by the Fijian government. It announced earlier this year a 1 billion Fijian dollars (463 million U.S. dollars) stimulus package to fight the pandemic.

According to the minister, the Fijian economy might not fully recover in the coming years and the employment for the future generations could be affected by the impact of COVID-19.

This is the reason the Fijian government needs to look at measures to help and ensure a recovery process starting now, he said.

Fiji will see a major contraction of its economy this year, mainly caused by the fallout of COVID-19 on tourism. One-third of the island nation's workforce have already either lost their jobs or are on reduced hours.

Through the Fiji National Provident Fund assistance, 86,000 affected Fijians were assisted in phase one while another 26,000 were helped in phase two, he said.

Over 62 million Fijian dollars (about 28.7 million U.S. dollars) has been paid out with the government topping account with 12 million Fijian dollars (about 5.6 million U.S. dollars). Enditem

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