Prime Minister Tom Thabane has announced government’s plans to minimize adverse effects of lock down that has been imposed as one of the measures to prevent Covid-19. Speaking in Maseru on Monday April 13th, Dr Thabane said: “It is clear that the fight has just started against the Covid-19 pandemic but the effects on peoples’ livelihood and the economy are already devastating. Business from micro, small to medium and corporate and workers have lost revenues.”
April 13, 2020
2 min read
Lesotho announces measures to minimize effects of Covid-19
Prime Minister Tom Thabane
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He said the government has come up with emergency steps that will be implemented to minimize the dangers as follows:
. Government establishes Covid-19 Private Sector Relief Fund in which it contributes M500 million from the public coffers. The private sector and Lesotho’s development partners such World Bank and European Union among others are expected to contribute;
. M100 million set aside to support intensive food production;
. Social grants will be extended from 70 years old to 65 years old and other vulnerable sectors of the society such as workers and students for three months;
. Tax compliant businesses will have their return submission extended for income tax returns from June to September and the PAYE and VAT to be deferred;
. Students in the foreign countries will receive US$300 per month for three months;
. Factory workers who are currently estimated to be 45 000 will get M800 stipends for three months;
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. Banks and insurances have been asked to defer installments for three months and private landlords to also consider three months deferral of rent for small to medium enterprises that are registered with tax authority and are tax compliant;
. LNDC and BEDCO will not demand payment for May;
. Street vendors will be assisted with capital to replenish their businesses and this will be done through their associations;
. Simplified business taxation will be suspended for non-essential services such as public transport.
Dr Thabane said there are other measures that should have been taken to include other sectors of the society but due to lack of funds the government would not be able to include them at this moment.