Employers' Federation welcomes govt's economic package

National Federation of Maldives Employers (NFME) has welcomed the government's MVR 2.5 billion economic recovery package introduced to mitigate the losses caused to the country's economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement issued by the NFME said the association will fully cooperate with the government on implementing the economic package that aims to assist small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We believe it is necessary to cooperate with government and make use of such economic packages to sustain the business and implement the plan according to the economic package”.

The statement further stated that the federation hopes that the performance of businesses will improve with the assistance of the package and that it creates more employment opportunities as well as benefit the economy.

The economic package announced by the government will provide significant support for the current difficult circumstance caused to the country's economy. It will facilitate local businesses to acquire working capital via banks and loans upto MVR 2 billion will be as part of this package. 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.

The package will be issued with a grace period of six months, and with an interest rate of six percent. A period of three years will be granted to pay back the loan. Businesses taking up the offer will be asked to make the best use of the funds, and will be conditioned not to make any of its current employees redundant.

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.