By Vikrant Rana and Vibhuti Vasisth
The influence of COVID-19 on employees, employers and businesses is persistently evolving – from supply chain disruption to order cancellations; from sick pay calculation to changing tax and accounting deadlines. A list of the latest schemes implemented by various Countries (as on April 15, 2020) around the globe is provided herein below.
Please note, that the following is not an exhaustive list, however, attempts to cover most of the schemes related to Economy, employment and businesses have been made.
Service Canada is waiving the one-week waiting period to claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits and waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
They have introduced the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to: Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits, and workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
Income support for workers
For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is:
- Waiving the one-week waiting period to claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks
For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours, owing to COVID-19, the government is:
Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment
Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process
Essential Worker Retention Incentive Program
The government introduced an Essential Worker Retention Incentive Program, which will provide a $100-a-week benefit for low-income earners working full-time or part-time in essential services.
Employers flexibility Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The proposed CEWS would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible, with certain exceptions including public sector entities. To measure their revenue loss, it is proposed that all employers have the flexibility to compare their revenue of March, April and May 2020 to that of the same month of 2019, or to an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.
Temporary wage subsidy
The government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.
Coronavirus relief package
Bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act will provide free testing; paid emergency leave for workers including a temporary coronavirus-related sick leave benefit paid by employers with fewer than 500 workers; and unemployment insurance for those impacted by coronavirus including $1 billion in emergency grants to help states expand unemployment insurance benefits. Also, the new coronavirus economic stabilization law provides about $300 billion for cash payments and $260 billion for enhanced unemployment assistance. It also provides $100 million through Reed’s short-time compensation (STC) provision, which is a layoff prevention program for businesses and workers known as work sharing. It also includes help for small businesses and employee retention payroll tax credits to keep more people on the job earning a steady paycheck. It also provides direct payments of $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000.Senator Reed added a $100 million work share provision to the CARES Act.
Employee retention credit
The Employee Retention Credit is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted.
Establishment of facilities to support American workers, households, and businesses
Three new facilities will provide liquidity to the financial system and support the flow of credit to American workers, households and businesses including the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. They will likely provide up to $300 billion in new financing.
Federal Unemployment Benefits
The FPUC program will provide an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB), Trade Readjustment Act (TRA), and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DA). The Department has already begun implementing the FPUC program for regular UC claimants. The $600 will be added to all eligible weeks of benefits retroactive to March 29, 2020 and continuing until July 31, 2020.
Partial unemployment scheme
For companies to place their employees in partial unemployment, the government will help companies pay employees. Companies will pay compensation equal to 70% of gross salary (around 84% of the net) to its employees. Employees with minimum wage or less are 100% compensated. The state will fully reimburse the companies for salaries up to 6,927 euros gross monthly, ie 4.5 times the minimum wage.
Deferral of rental payments and utilities
The President announced the postponement of payment of rent, water, gas and electricity bills for small businesses.
Deferral of tax payments
Businesses can ask the public accountant for a settlement plan to spread or defer the payment of tax debt and businesses can request, in the most difficult situations, a remission of direct taxes (profit tax, territorial economic contribution, etc.).
Support plan for French exporters
The granting of state guarantees through Bpifrance for sureties and pre-financing of export projects will be reinforced to secure the cash flow of exporting companies. The guaranteed quotas may be increased to 90% for all SMEs and mid-caps. The period of validity of the pre-financing guarantee agreements export will be extended for six months.
Financial stimulus for start-ups
France will roll out a €4 billion ($4.33 billion) liquidity support plan for start-ups in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Free business mediation services
Business mediation services are available for free to companies to come up with a confidential action plan for disputes.
Launch of online tool
The Government has implemented support measures for businesses and has launched a website, info-entreprisescovid19.economie.gouv.fr, to help companies understand the benefits available and to answer all questions.
Adjusting advance payments and suspending tax penalties
Companies, the self-employed and freelancers can also have their advance payments adjusted for income and corporate tax. The same applies to the measurement amount for the purposes of business tax prepayments.
Enforcement of overdue tax debts should be waived by the end of the year. Default surcharges that are legally incurred during this period should be waived. This applies to income and corporate tax as well as sales tax.
Bonuses are tax-free
Bonuses given to employees up to €1,500 are now tax and social security free this year.
Economic Stabilization Fund
The Federal Government launched a large-scale economic stabilization fund: that consists of €400 billion euros state guarantees for liabilities, €100 billion euros for direct state investments, and €100 billion euros for funding from KfW.
With a volume of up to €600 billion, thus cushioning the economic impact of the pandemic on companies whose existence is of considerable importance for Germany or the job market. It also applies to important smaller companies and companies in the field of critical infrastructure. Also, intended to eliminate liquidity bottlenecks, support refinancing on the capital market and, strengthen the capital base of companies.
Emergency aid for self-employed and small businesses
To ensure liquidity for small businesses and the self-employed, the federal government is providing €50 billion to provide unbureaucratic emergency aid for small businesses, the self-employed and freelancers and provide a one-time payment for three months – depending on the size of the company, up to €9,000 (up to five employees / full-time equivalents) or up to €15,000 (up to ten employees / full-time equivalents).
Short-term work allowance legislation
Legislation is being fast-tracked to facilitate access to short-term work allowances for companies where a minimum of 10% of the workforce is affected.
Increase in Central Guarantee Fund for SMEs
There has been a 1.5 billion increase in the Central Guarantee Fund for SMEs. The objective is to allow guarantees for over €100 billion in total financing for businesses by the fund. The guarantee of the fund itself is equal to 80% of the amount (and 90% in case of reinsurance of Confidi) for all loans up to €1.5 million. Above this amount, the guarantee percent is modulated according to the ordinary fund rules, with the possibility of obtaining an 80% guarantee, up to €5 million for all loans that fall within the areas of activity also covered by the special sections.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), professionals and sole proprietorships can benefit from a moratorium on an overall volume of loans estimated at around 220 billion euros. Until 30 September, lines of credit in the current account, loans for advances on debt securities, maturities of short-term loans and installments of loans and installments due to expire are frozen.
Measures for businesses
The government has enacted measures totalling €7 billion. Key measures include:
- strengthening and expansion of public loan guarantee systems for businesses (€3.8 billion)
- introduction of an incentive to transfer impaired loans to third parties, given the possibility of transforming them in tax credits, a portion of deferred tax assets (DTA) for an amount proportional to the value of the impaired loans sold (€1.1 billion)
- the suspension of the terms of payment of the loans entrusted to the collection agent (€0.8 billion)
- some recognized tax credits VAT holders to encourage the sanitation of work environments and to support rental costs commercial property in March (€0.4 billion)
Tax credits to companies and self-employed, equal to 50% of the costs incurred, up to €20,000, for sanitation work environments and tools during 2020.
Support for workers
The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance allocated €4 billion to unemployment funds, which has been extended to all employees in all sectors.
Companies with fewer than five employees can file and receive benefits for a maximum duration of nine weeks.
The Wage Integration Fund, which normally covers companies with five to 50 employees, with change the limit. Self-employed, seasonal, and other types of workers will receive €600
Workers with a gross annual income of up to €40,000 who perform their work in the workplace in March, not teleworking, are granted € 100, in proportion to the number of days worked.
Other measures include:
- support to employment and workers for the protection of work and income;
- credit support for families and micro, small and medium enterprises, through the banking system and the use of the central guarantee fund;
- suspension of payment obligations for taxes and contributions as well as other tax obligations and tax incentives for the sanitation of workplaces and bonuses for employees who remain in service;
- extension of redundancy fund to all employees, of all production sectors. Employers, including companies with fewer than 5 employees, who suspend or reduce their activity following an epidemiological emergency.
Emergency Fund Bridging Employment (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid NOW)) scheme
NOW is intended to compensate employers who are faced with loss of turnover. It allows employers to pay their employees on permanent and flexible contract. NOW will replace the existing ‘reduction in working hours’ scheme (Werktijdverkorting). The NOW scheme will be open for submitting applications as of April 6th, 2020 (for an initial period of 3 months).
Temporary Reduction of collection interest and tax interest
The following reductions will apply from March 23, 2020:
- Collection interest (‘invorderingsrente’): temporarily reduced from 4% to 0.01%.
- Tax interest (‘belastingrente’): temporarily reduced from 8% (CIT) / 4% (other) to 0.01%.
Advance payment of unemployment benefits
The Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, through the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), has reached an agreement with banking entities to advance payment of benefits to their clients for unemployment, starting in April 2020.
Banks to support businesses
European Central Bank (ECB) has asked banks to not pay divided or buy back shares to boost banks’ capacity to absorb losses and support lending to households, small businesses and corporates.
The government has adopted a Royal Decree-Law to allow employers to use temporary employee layoffs plans that guarantee employee contracts are maintained. Workers cannot be dismissed but instead the employers will be able to get their workers unemployment benefits by filling out a form.
Ensuring credit and financing
The government has adopted budgetary measures to support families, freelancers and companies, including Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) to ensure that banks can continue to provide credit and financing to families and businesses. Credit institutions can use capital and liquidity buffers and flexibility for loans related to COVID-19.
£20 million funding for businesses
The UK government has announced £20 million of funding to help businesses develop technologies that will improve the country’s resilience against the coronavirus. Each project will receive funding between £25,000 and £50,000.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The scheme open to all UK PAYE Employers that need access to support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC have advised that they will reimburse 80% of employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month. The Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st 2020 and is initially open for 3 months.
Alternative employment opportunities and SME support
There are opportunities for those seeking alternative employment and they need to register using the There is a support package for employers in Northern Ireland which helps small businesses and employers in those sectors most impacted.
Annual leave entitlement in Northern Ireland
Workers in Northern Ireland unable to take holiday leave as a result of the outbreak can carry over their annual leave to the next two leave years.
Emergency Volunteering Leave
Eligible workers are able to take Emergency Volunteering Leave to help the Health and Social Care system in response to the outbreak. Suitably skilled and/or experienced workers will be able to take Emergency Volunteering Leave in blocks of two, three or four weeks during any sixteen-week volunteering period.
Interest on late payments is suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities. Current tax clearance status will remain in place for all businesses over the coming months, The Relevant Contract Tax (RCT) rate review scheduled to take place this month (March) is suspended.
Unemployment Payment is paid at a flat rate of €350 per week for the duration of the pandemic emergency. It was originally set at a rate of €203 but it was increased to €350 by government on 24 March.
Business rates deferral
The government has agreed with local authorities to defer rates payments due from the most immediately affected businesses, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, until the end of May.
Microenterprises can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. The terms include six months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%.
Social security measures
Business will be able to claim temporary unemployment for their staff. For social security contributions for the first and second quarters of 2020, you can request a payment plan that would allow your business to make monthly payments for a maximum period of 24 months. If you have paid all your social security contributions correctly, you may be exempt you from increases, lump sum payments and/or interest.
Tax measures for companies
Companies can request payment plans, exemptions from interest and remission of fines for non-payments on withholding taxes, VAT, personal income taxes and corporate taxes. There is an automatic two month extension for VAT and withholding tax without having to pay fines or interest.
Boosting enterprise transformation
The support level for Enterprise Development Grants will be raised from 70%-80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. For enterprises that are most severely impacted by COVID19, the maximum support level will be further raised to 90% on a case-by-case basis. Enhanced support will be granted to enterprises that plan to refresh their business models and find new opportunities.
Corporate Income Tax rebate and deferment
Businesses will get a rebate on corporate income tax and some enhanced tax treatments in moves aimed at improving their cash flow. Companies will be granted a rebate of 25 per cent of tax payable, capped at $15,000, for the year of assessment 2020 – a move that will cost the Government about $400 million.
All companies with CIT payments due in the months of April, May, and June 2020 will be granted an automatic three-month deferment of these payments.
The CIT payments deferred from April, May, and June 2020 will instead be collected in July, August, and September 2020 respectively.
Companies with taxes due in April through June 2020 can defer payments for three months. There will be no increase in government fees and charges for one year from April 2020 to March 2021.
Employers affected by Leave of Absence and Stay-Home Notices
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is providing support to help businesses and the self-employed affected by leave of absence and stay-home notice requirements. Employers should receive $100 daily per affected worker for time off where telecommuting is not possible.
Employment subsidy program
The government is expected to extend the employment subsidy program for an additional 6 months, and increase the salary subsidy ratio from 8% to 25% to prevent companies from retrenching local employees due to lack of funds.
Employment adjustment subsidies
The Japanese government has increased the employment adjustment subsidy rate for small and medium-sized businesses from 2/3 to 4/5 and for large enterprises from 1/2 to 2/3 to protect employment.
Enhanced provision of US dollar liquidity
The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank announced coordinated action to enhance the provision of liquidity via the standing U.S. dollar liquidity swap line arrangements. To improve the swap lines’ effectiveness in providing U.S. dollar funding, these central banks have agreed to increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily.
Relaxation of import/export procedures
If an import certificate or export license will expire due to delays in imports, companies may apply for an extension of the validity period, before the validity period elapses. If a customs quota certificate will expire due to import delays, companies may apply to extend the validity period within 30 days from the day after the expiration date.
A $30 billion fund was established to provide relief to businesses, safeguard jobs and stimulate the economy. About $17 billion is allocated for enterprises and organizations to use at their discretion, such as pay employees’ wages.
Additional economic measures
New measures that will affect businesses have been announced. National insurance contributions will be reduced for small and medium-sized businesses from 30 to 15 percent on the portion of wages that is above the minimum wage. A bill has been drafted to defer all taxes on small and medium-sized businesses and a moratorium has been placed on initiating bankruptcy proceedings with penalties and fines suspended.
Economic measures for businesses
The Russian government has created a financial reserve of ₽300 billion and a loan guarantee fund for restructuring affected companies. The distressed sectors of the economy such as tourism and aviation will be given tax deferrals.
Expansion of Special Financial Support
The Special Financial Support for Small Merchants and SMEs will be expanded to help with business operations.
Supplementary budget for small merchants and SMEs
South Korea is helping small merchants and small and medium-sized businesses with ₩2.4 trillion of emergency support through loans and wage support.
The government is providing a VAT break for businesses with revenues of ₩60 million or less per year.
No interest on tax payments
The Tax Authorities have announced that no interest will be calculated and claimed on late payments from 20 March 2020 to 31 December 2020.
An aid package of CHF10 billion ($10.6 billion) has been announced to help companies.
Unemployment insurance funds can claim up to CHF8 billion for short-time work allowances. Short-time work compensation has been extended to include temporary employees.
Up to CHF580 million in guaranteed bank loans is available to SMEs. An additional CHF10 million will go to compensate organisations for extraordinary administrative costs.
Up to CHF4.5 million can be requested for losses on trade fairs through the official export sponsor S-GE.
Wage subsidies will be available for all employers who have experienced at least a 30% decline in projected or actual revenue; made best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period; and have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Wage Subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:
- $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week
- $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week
For 8 weeks starting 17 March 2020, leave payments will be available to support those who are require to self-isolate due to recent travels, cannot work because they or their dependents are ill with COVID-19
The Leave Payment will be a flat rate of:
- $585.80, for employees who work over 20 hours a week; OR,
- $350.00 for employees who work fewer than 20 hours a week.
There are two new leave types available in the payroll software – COVID-19 and COVID-19 Unpaid.
Delayed taxes and VAT
The Norwegian Government has implemented several measures to mitigate the liquidity impact for companies. Companies can postpone the VAT payments and income tax pre- payments. The VAT rate for travel, will be reduced from 12% to 8% from and including 1st January 2020 until further notice.
Measures for temporary lay-offs
Measures have been put into place b the government to reduce the number of days that employers are obliged to pay salary to workers at temporary lay-offs, from 15 to 2 days.
They have also removed the three waiting days between the period when employers have to provide salary to workers in temporary layoffs and the period when the workers are entitled to daily unemployment benefits.
Backing business incentive
The government is introducing a limited 15-month investment incentive. Eligible businesses with aggregated annual turnover below $500 million will be able to claim a 50% deduction for the cost of new assets that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (i.e. plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents).
Boosting cash flow
Eligible entities will to receive payment, by way of tax credit on PAYG withholding, of up to $100,000 with a minimum payment of $20,000. To be eligible, entities must have aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and must employ workers. An additional payment is also being introduced in the July – October 2020 period, whereby eligible entities will receive another payment equal to the total of all the boosting cash flow payments they have received.
Cash flow boost for employers
The government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits (including charities) with employees. The minimum payment is $20,000
Businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 will receive payment of $1,500 per fortnight for each employee as a wage subsidy. Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if they suffered a decline in turnover of >50% (if turnover > S1 billion) or >30% (if turnover < $1 billion). To be eligible, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.
Bank-tax interaction for small and micro enterprises
The State Administration of Taxation and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission will support small and micro enterprises with urgent capital needs, tax credit loans, and help to overcome difficulties in resuming production.
Cross-border economic cooperation zones
The Ministry of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank of China will strengthen financial support for cross-border economic cooperation zones, serve enterprises’ needs to respond to the epidemic, to resume work and production and to expand business, promote the innovative development of border trade, and foster new momentum for the development of border areas.
Enhance employment stability
China’s State Council released a guideline to expedite the recovery of employment and keep it stable to counter the impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. It included prioritizing employment, helping migrant workers return to work, expanding job opportunities for college graduates, ensuring social security. Also, included fast-tracking targeted tax and fee reduction for safeguarding jobs, while prioritizing investment in industries that can create more jobs. It also called for a better environment for wider coverage of guaranteed loans for startups and policy support for venture investments.
Enhanced measures for the economy
China will enhance macro-economic regulation and give more credit support to smaller and private companies. The government also pledged to make good use of capital markets, replenish the capital of small and medium-sized banks.
The Chinese government has rolled 20 targeted incentives, including cutting value-added tax, consumption tax, and corporate and individual income taxes, as well as waiving employers’ payments to various social insurance schemes. The incentives will aid in the resumption of work and production for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
India Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19 web form
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has deployed a simple web form named CAR (Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19) on 23rd March 2020 for companies/LLPs to confirm their readiness to deal with COVID-19 threat. This form needs to be filed by authorized signatories of companies/LLPs.
GST and indirect tax measures
The government of India has changed the dates for filing GST annual returns and indirect taxes to the last week in June with no interest, late fees or penalties.
Relief measures for corporate affairs
There are many relief measures and extensions of deadlines for companies set by the government, including but not limited to the following:
Any document, return or statement that is required to be filed in the MCA-21 Registry, irrespective of its due date, will have no fees for a late filing up until 30 September 2020.
The mandatory requirement of holding board meetings for companies will be extended by a period of 60 days for the next two quarters.
Applicability of Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 will be made applicable from the financial year 2020-2021 instead of from 2019-2020. This will significantly ease the burden on companies & their auditors for the year 2019-20.
Independent Directors are required to hold at least one meeting without the attendance of Non-independent directors and members of management. For the year 2019-20, if the IDs of a company have not been able to hold even one meeting, it will not be viewed as a violation.
Requirement to create a Deposit reserve of 20% of deposits maturing during the financial year 2020-21 before 30th April 2020 will have the deadline extended to 30th June 2020.
Measures for businesses
The Ministry of Finance has implemented measures for business such as, reducing the time needed to process loan applications; improving accessibility of capital; promptly providing reductions or exemptions of loan interest; retention of loan categories; fee reductions; deferral of tax and land rental payments, etc. There will be a delay in collection of social insurance from entities until the end of June or December 2020 without charging late payment interest. There are adjustments of deadlines for payment of union contributions.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has issued measures for salaries. Employees who have stopped working, including expat employees who cannot come back to work as required by local authorities; employees who are under quarantine; or employees whose business cannot resume operations, can negotiate their salaries for no less than regional-based minimum wage stipulated by the government.
Enterprises facing sourcing and market difficulties can temporarily transfer employees to other positions; suspend their labour contract; or terminate their labour contract.
Prime Minister Hasina, announced an emergency relief support package, worth 5000 crore taka to contain the immediate effects of pandemic. Later, a $1.7 billion support and relief package was also provided by the PM, especially for the affected agricultural workers and farmers. Another $588 million relief package was announced to support the garment and apparel industry and to use this fund to provide salaries to the affected workers. Collectively, the total financial support amounting to Tk 72,750 crore, approximately 2.52 per cent of the country’s GDP. The financial support aimed at curbing the negative impact of pandemic on the country’s poor population, over the economy, to provide loans to small and medium enterprises, local industries, to counter the basic needs of the population, to provide salaries to the working force of the country, to enhance the export development fund, facilitation of raw material import etc.
The World Bank approved a loan to Sri Lanka, worth $128.6 million, to help and support the needs of the population, to aid the Health Care sector in order to cure and defeat COVID-19, to fortify and encourage pre-existing institutions like National Institute of Infectious Diseases and to control the economic condition of the country. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has also reviewed and revised its monetary policies, thereby cutting the rates by 25 and statutory reserve ratio by 1 basis point due to the coronavirus pandemic. The President announced to start a relief fund named, “COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund” to support the mitigation activities to control and curb spread of covid-19 and other welfare activities. President to donate 100 million from President’s fund to handle the crisis.
Prime Minister Imran Khan came up with Rs. 1.2 trillion relief and support package to curb the negative impact of coronavirus on the economy, to support local businesses and industries and to help poor. Further, a fund-raiser ‘Corona Relief Tiger Force’, was also announced by the PM to provide food and basic necessities to the poor in the country. Part of the $7.2 billion relief package, Pakistan launched cash transfer of $900 million by biometric technology. With the help of this relief package, around 12 million households will receive approximately $200, helping them to surpass this phase. A national television broadcast has been launched by the Government of Pakistan, named “Teleschool” as a substitute for school lectures. Also, the Government is providing cash coupons to families and people in need, through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.
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