Prishtina, 14 April 2020
The acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, together with the acting Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Transfers, Besnik Bislimi, held a press conference whereby they presented the measures envisaged in the Emergency Fiscal Package drafted by the Ministry of Finance and Transfers and approved by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo.
On this occasion, acting Prime Minister Kurti, while presenting the 15 measures of the Emergency Fiscal Package, stressed that this package is designed to achieve several goals; (i) to provide additional financial assistance to the poorest social classes after the COVID-19 pandemic; (ii) to assist businesses in covering operating expenses in order to ensure a minimum salary for all workers during the emergency situation, and (iii) to ensure that businesses are able to continue operating during and after the emergency situation.
Also, acting Prime Minister Kurti expressed his conviction that, in addition to taking care of public health, the acting Government, through this emergency fiscal package, is also taking care of the health of the economy, which is then followed by the package for economic recovery.
The full speech of acting Prime Minister Kurti:
Thank you very much for responding positively to our call for this press conference on the health of the economy at this time of pandemic.
As you are already aware, we have decided on an emergency fiscal package which is designed to achieve several goals:
– Ensure a minimum salary for all workers during the emergency situation;
– Ensure that businesses are able to continue operating during and after the emergency situation.
This package is not aimed at long-term policies to stimulate the recovery of the economy. For these, an analysis or a more in-depth study will be made, and a second package which will address the long-term needs of the private sector will be drafted.
So, this is an Emergency Fiscal Package because we are in an emergency health situation.
Measure 1 – Double payment of the value of the social assistance scheme (3 months);
Measure 2 – Additional payment in the amount of 30 Euros per month to all beneficiaries of social and pension schemes receiving a monthly payment lower than 100 Euros (3 months);
Measure 3 – Financial support to business organizations under financial distress due to the emergency situation, including:
(a) Coverage of expenditures for the employees’ monthly salaries in the amount of 170 Euros (2 months)
(b) Rent subsidy up to fifty per cent (50%) of the rent value for small and medium enterprises;
(c) Coverage of the value of pension contributions with regard to the measures foreseen under this Decision.
Measure 4 – Provision of interest-free loans to publicly-owned enterprises (with maturity period until the end of 2020);
Measure 5 – Provision of financial support to municipalities of the Republic of Kosovo (a total of 10 million Euros);
Measure 6 – Provision of a salary top-up in the amount of 300 Euros to employees of the essential sectors who are directly exposed to the risk of infection (2 months);
Measure 7 – Additional payment in the amount of 100 Euros to employees of grocery stores, bakeries and pharmacies (2 months);
Measure 8 – Payment of monthly assistance in the amount of 130 Euros to citizens who lose their jobs due to the emergency situation (registration is done through TAK and this measure is for 2 months);
Measure 9 – Support to initiatives and projects aimed at improving the lives of non-majority communities in the Republic of Kosovo that have been hit hard by the public health emergency situation, amounting up to two million (€2,000,000.00) Euros;
Measure 10 – Provision of financial liquidity for two categories:
(a) Micro-enterprises and the self-employed through certain programs of the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund, in the amount of ten thousand (€10,000) Euros for a period of 2 years, amounting up to fifteen million (€15,000,000.00) Euros; and
(b) Business Organizations/Companies authorized to provide basic services (similar to those of Publicly-Owned Enterprises) on return by 31.12.2020, within the value specified in point 1.4 of the Decision on the Emergency Fiscal Package.
Measure 11 – Increase of budget for grants and subsidies to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development in order to increase agricultural production, amounting to five million (€5,000,000.00) Euros;
Measure 12 – Increase of budget for grants and subsidies to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in order to avoid the situation created by the public health emergency in sports and cultural activities, amounting to five million (€5,000,000.00) Euros;
Measure 13 – Support to exporters in the Republic of Kosovo after the public health emergency situation ends, amounting to ten million (€10,000,000.00) Euros;
Measure 14 – Financial support to business organizations registering employees with at least one (1) year employment contract during the period of public health emergency situation, with one hundred and thirty (€130) Euros for the following two months after registration, amounting up to six million (€6,000,000.00) Euros;
Measure 15 – Payment of monthly assistance in the amount of one hundred and thirty (€130) Euros to citizens living under poor social conditions, declared as unemployed in the competent institution and who are not beneficiaries of any monthly income from the Kosovo budget, for April, May and June, amounting up to three million (€3,000,000.00) Euros.
This is the Emergency Fiscal Package and we are convinced that, in addition to taking care of public health, we will be able to manage the health of our economy with this emergency package, which is then followed by the package for economic recovery.