Turkey's steps to support economy over COVID-19 reach US$29 billion: Finance Minister

Turkey's steps to support economy over COVID-19 reach US$29 billion: Finance Minister

FILE PHOTO: Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Istanbul
Women wearing protective face masks and gloves are seen in Istanbul, Turkey, as the spread of COVID-19. (FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

ISTANBUL: The Turkish government's steps to support the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic have reached a value of 200 billion lira (US$28.7 billion), Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Saturday (Apr 25).

President Tayyip Erdogan initially announced a 100 billion lira package to support the economy on Mar 18, postponing debt payments and reducing tax burdens in some sectors. Since then, Ankara has gradually widened such measures.

READ: Turkey has most COVID-19 cases outside Europe and US

Turkey's confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by 3,122 on Friday, with the death toll rising to 2,600.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing businesses to furlough or lay off millions of staff, the government has also stepped in to top up income or pay daily stipends, while small businesses are being given access to fresh loans.

"The total value of the steps we have taken so far has reached 200 billion lira," Albayrak said in a video posted on his Twitter account.

READ: Erdogan says coronavirus starting to reach plateau in Turkey

Among the measures, financing amount to 107.4 billion lira has been provided to some 120,000 companies to support them during the outbreak, he said. An additional 16.8 billion lira has been provided in support to traders.

Also, 1,000 lira in financial support has been paid to each of 4.4 million families, with a total of 22.3 billion lira set aside to meet the basic needs of some 4 million citizens, Albayrak said.

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Source: Reuters/hw