Package includes tax cuts, debt payment delays, employers encouraged to allow remote working
Turkey on Wednesday unveiled a relief package worth 100 billion Turkish liras ($15.4 billion) to limit the economic fallout from coronavirus.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the package, which includes debt payment delays and tax cuts across various sectors, following a meeting on measures to counter the pandemic at Cankaya Palace in Ankara.
“Value added tax (VAT) on domestic airline flights has been cut to 1% from 18% for a period of three months,” Erdogan said.
He added that accommodation taxes will also not be applied until November.
Also, social security premiums and VAT deductions have been suspended for six months across various sectors, including retail, malls, iron-steel, automative, logistic and textile, he said.
Moreover, credit payments for firms who are facing cash flow disruptions due to coronavirus will be postponed for three months, he added.
“We will provide additional support to those companies when needed,” the president said.
He said credit payments of craftspeople and artisans to state lender Halkbank will also be delayed for three months without interest.
In order to maintain capacity utilization rates, the government has decided to extend financial support to stocks for exporters, Erdogan added.
The country also doubled the credit guarantee fund’s limit to 50 billion Turkish liras ($7.70 billion), up from 25 billion liras ($3.35 billion).
He urged employers to encourage flexible and remote working models to stem the spread of the virus.
“We will encourage credit packages for citizens under favorable and advantageous conditions,” Erdogan said.
He added that the lowest pension amount has also been increased to 1,500 Turkish liras ($231).
The novel virus which emerged in Wuhan, China last December has now spread to at least 164 countries and territories worldwide, with Europe as its epicenter, according to World Health Organization.
With a global death toll of over 7,800, the pandemic has brought major cities across the world to a standstill sending stocks plunging and businesses facing huge losses.