President Peter Mutharika of Malawi on Saturday announced that him and the cabinet will take a tenth pay cut and redirect the cash towards the fight against coronavirus. This was announced on state television, Reuters reports.
The president announced variety of measures aimed toward cushioning small- and medium-sized businesses, including tax breaks, a discount in fuel prices and an increase in risk allowances for health workers.
“The coronavirus attack features a huge negative impact on the economy and businesses everywhere. There are many business people and industry players who are uncertain about things because it is unfolding. I do know that everybody is worried,” he said.
“Therefore, govt will take measures to guard jobs and incomes, protect businesses and ensure continuity of the availability chain and therefore the survival of the economy.”
Malawi on Thursday recorded its first three confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The number amount rose to four on Saturday.
Mr. Mutharika also ordered tobacco markets to be opened and allowed to work without disruption to protect small farmers and bolster foreign currency receipts. Tobacco is Malawi’s main export.
The president also directed the Federal Reserve Bank of Malawi to permit banks to supply a three-month moratorium on interest payments on loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.
He ordered the country’s Competition and Fair Trading Commission to place in situ strict monitoring of price controls and punish anyone found increasing prices at the expense of Malawians. Amongst other measures, Mutharika ordered all non-essential service providers in both the govt and private sectors to work from home with immediate effect.
The four confirmed cases thus far have all been linked to people traveling from the united kingdom.
Peter Mutharika, 79, became president in 2014. His re-election last year was canceled in February after judges found there had been widespread irregularities