THE Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) has launched the much-awaited first round Economic Stimulus Package (ECP) of $SBD309 million to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his keynote address on Monday stated that the ECP is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to address the negative economic fallout of the pandemic.
Giving the details of the ECP, Sogavare highlighted that the ECP has two guiding principles.
“First this package is intended to address the immediate impacts of the crisis and is the highest priority and secondly this package is building the capacity of the economy to quickly recover and grow over the short and medium-term by investing in the productive and resource sector,” Sogavare said.
He also highlighted that the ESP has four key components.
“One is called the Soft Measures which includes immediate actions aimed at ensuring the economy continues to function during the crisis,” Sogavare said.
He further highlighted that the second component of the ESP is to put focuses on the productive and resources sectors especially in investing in value-added products in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and tourism sector.
“This is to prevent loss of income and employment in the economy and diversification of the export and economic base,” he added.
The third component he highlighted is the Immediate Recovery Measures 2 which proposes equity injection into government-owned or partly owned companies to enable them to keep supporting the economy.
The fourth component is called the Medium-term support to stimulate growth which Sogavare said that it will focus on support to stimulate and build the capacity of the economy to develop and grow.
Sogavare said that an implementing committee lead by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury will be responsible for the coordination and oversight of the implementation phase of the stimulus package.
By ANDREW FANASIA