Covid-19 in UAE: Sheikh Mohammed announces additional Dh16 billion stimulus package
Dubai - 'New measures to reduce the cost for small companies'
Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 4:34 PM
Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 7:19 AM
The UAE Cabinet has approved an Dh16 billion economic stimulus package as part of the Federal Government's additional measures to support the national economy, ensure businesses continuity, and mitigate the coronavirus impact. This came during a virtual meeting held Sunday under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a preventive measure to protect everyone from the Covid-19. The latest financial support complements those announced recently by the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, along with that of the Central Bank of the UAE, taking to Dh126.5 billion the total value of stimulus packages introduced since the Covid-19 outbreak to survive the current challenging conditions. Key policy initiatives
The measures include a renewable six-month suspension of work permit fees and reduction of labour and other charges to cut the cost of doing business, support small businesses and accelerate major infrastructure projects. - Suspension of collection of administrative fines by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for a period of 6 months, which can be extended. - Reduction of work permit fees for establishments that have a registered workforce of 1 to 6 workers. - Reduction of the fees of the ministry of economy. - Firms will get back 50% of the bank guarantee they submitted for each employee - Three government work teams will work round the clock to ensure the continuity of services and effective functioning of remote work systems. They will also constantly assess the impacts of the coronavirus During the virtual meeting, Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE government is ready to deal with all future circumstances, adding that the country will be part of the global efforts to contain Covid-19 pandemic. "Our message for everyone is that we are completely ready to deal with all circumstances," added Sheikh Mohammed. "Over the past 10 years, we have invested in smart learning, electronic and smart services to enhance our readiness for emergencies and disasters. Today we are reaping the fruits of our strenuous efforts as evidenced by the continuation of our educational process and basic government services. We are being proactive in dealing with global health conditions." Sheikh Mohammed also said: "Coronavirus is a health virus, an economic virus, and a political virus too... and we say to all the countries of the world: It is the time for unity, cooperation and solidarity to fight the worst enemy of humankind. All differences diminish in the face of this challenge and the world can overcome it faster if the strong stood with the weak and the rich with the poor." "We have adopted new systems in the banking, economic, and public sectors and provided a healthy infrastructure to deal with the worst possibilities. We have a national team that works around the clock. We will safeguard the health of our society. We will protect our economy. We will protect education. We will cross such a global crisis with confidence," His Highness noted. Addressing the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the ministry is closely following up the conditions of Emirati students and citizens abroad to ensure their safe return. He highlighted the country-level efforts to adopt the remote learning system launched today, affirming that no efforts are being spared to ensure the full readiness of all educational institutions to help students utilise the distance learning system in the best possible way. Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, affirmed the readiness of all the country's health facilities to address the challenging situation in the most efficient manner. Addressing the meeting, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of the National Media Council, said," Our wise leadership is keen on the safety of citizens and residents, and we encourage them to raise awareness of public health concepts, inspired by the leadership's vision to face challenges and continue in the path to serve society and the nation towards achievements and excellence." He added, "Our wise leadership has invested in the humans, technology and advanced infrastructure, and has been keen to use the latest methods in management and leadership. This is an example of our readiness to ensure business continuity, no matter what the circumstances may be."