Tunisia is allocating 2.5 billion dinars to combat the economic and social effects of the coronavirus health crisis, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said on Saturday.
Among new measures, the government will delay tax debts, postpone taxes on small- and medium-sized businesses, delay repayment of low-income employee loans and provide financial assistance to poor families.
“All of Tunisia is united in this dangerous war. The war has a cost and the exceptional decisions that we announced have a cost, but we have no choice”, Fakhfakh said in an address to the nation.
The government will provide 450 million dinars in financial aid to poor families and Tunisians who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis.
It allocated 1.2 billion in loans and aid to help companies affected by the crisis.
Tunisia now expects an economic recession, prompting the central bank on Tuesday to cut its key interest rate by 100 basis points.
Fakhfakh said the government reduced its growth forecast this year to 1% from 2.7%.
President Kais Saied on Friday ordered a general lockdown, limiting citizens’ free movement in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.