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Secretary of State for Social Communication Mericio Juvinal Akara Secretary of State for Social Communication Mericio Juvinal Akara

Subsidies to help virus-hit businesses to be considered, government Featured

DILI:The Secretary of State for Social Communication Mericio Juvinal Akara, said on Thursday that the government would push subsidies for private businesses forced to close during the state of emergency decree, ahead of a Council of Ministers meeting.

Akara said the one-month subsidy was necessary to ensure business could pay staff and could re-open when the pandemic had passed. The subsidy amount is undecided.

"I hope that this plan can be approved at the Council of Ministers meeting,” Akara told reporters.

Timor-Leste has only one registered case of coronavirus.

But officials have warned against complacency, introducing restrictions on business trade and closing schools and public transport. People are encouraged to stay home and avoid public spaces.

The comments come as the Council of Ministers approved Friday a budget ceiling for the month of April under the duodecimal regime of US$114,887, 000, excluding loans.

The budget includes expenses to buy medicines and equipment to respond to the coronavirus.

During the emergency decree expenses for local and foreign travel, organisation of training and seminars, and maintenance of vehicles are “suspended or reduced”, according to a government statement. 

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