Windhoek, April 01 – The Government of the Republic of Namibia through the Finance Ministry has announced an economic relief strategy which will benefit small agricultural and nonagricultural small businesses to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and during the country’s lockdown. Days after announcing the lockdown of the two regions affected by Coronavirus, the President, His excellence Dr Hage Geingob reiterated that the lockdown will soon be implemented nationally.
To offset the negative effects of this outbreak and the lockdown, government has resolved to support the business sector to support job retention, cash flows and the continuation of productive economic activities.
According to the Minister of Finance, government plans to provide wage subsidies to avoid retrenchments in the business sector. N$ 400 million is set aside for wage subsidies to the hardest hit sectors such as tourism, hospitality, travel, aviation and construction.
Government has also guaranteed N$ 500 million concessional rate loan scheme for non0-agricultural small businesses. Farmers and agricultural businesses will be provided with an amount of N$ 200 million in loan schemes. The DBN and AgriBank will also initiate a borrower’s relief/capital repayment holiday on the principal amount for a period of months but not exceeding 24 months.
Non-mining corporates in the business sector will also be allowed to borrow an amount equal to 1/12th of their tax repayment to be repaid after one year. The tax-back loan scheme is capped at N$ 470 million.
COVID-19 cases in Namibia stands at 13, with 10 cases still active and 3 people totally recovered from the virus.
Compiled by Joseph Tobias
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