Relief package targeting the public and also businesses

Reiwa Ichi

The government has decided to deploy informal sector workers who have been unemployed due to the ongoing crisis in public works that are carried out by the local, provincial and federal governments. Such workers will either be paid in cash on a daily basis or provided with food. The local governments will fix the wage for such workers. Meanwhile, unemployed workers who refuse to work in the designated areas will be paid 25 per cent of the relief or wage that a worker who decides to work gets.

According to the government, necessary resources for providing jobs to unemployed workers in the informal sector will be mobilised through the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, development projects under local governments and the COVID-19 Relief Fund of the government.

For workers in the formal sector, the government has directed firms to immediately issue 50 per cent of workers’ salary till Baisakh and gradually pay the remaining 50 per cent salary after their businesses resume. In case firms face liquidity problem in doing so, the government has asked Nepal Rastra Bank to ensure that such firms get loans from banks and financial institutions at subsidised rates. Moreover, the government has also asked the central bank to manage loans from its refinancing facility for firms facing liquidity issues.

The government has also asked the central bank to extend the period for repayment of loans from businesses.

While the government has continued its earlier decision to offer 25 per cent rebate on electricity tariff to customers who consume up to 150 units, it has also announced 15 per cent rebate on electricity tariff for those consuming up to 250 units a month throughout the lockdown period. The government has also asked Nepal Electricity Authority to provide necessary subsidy on demand charge and electricity tariff to industries that have remained shut during the lockdown.

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