STO to slash oil prices

State Trading Organization (STO) will be slashing oil prices, the government has revealed.

During a press conference held Thursday to unveil the government's new economic aid package of MVR 2.5 billion to mitigate the losses caused to the country's economy due to novel coronavirus, Finance Minister Irahim Ameer said the state-owned enterprise will be lowering oil prices, although no other details were offered.

The minister said the relevant information will be shared by STO in the upcoming days.

In the joint press conference held by the Finance Ministry, Economic Ministry and Central Bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the Finance Minister said the economic package announced by the government will provide significant support for the current difficult circumstance caused to the country's economy.

"The government has made the decision to introduce an Economic Recovery Package worth MVR 2.5 billion. Under the package, we will facilitate local businesses to acquire working capital via banks. We will issue loans upto MVR 2 billion as part of this package," said the minister.

The decision was taken to alleviate difficulties caused to local businesses so that the companies can continue to pay the salaries and remunerations of its staff without any reductions, and to ensure job security for those employed in the private sector, added the minister.

13 people have tested positive for COVID-19 thus far in the Maldives. All infected persons are foreigners either working or holidaying in the Maldives. The global pandemic has severely impacted Maldivian economy after the country closed its doors to tourists arriving from severely affected regions and countries. The government estimates a USD 400 million decline in the amount of foreign currency entering the country.