Hong Kong to spend $15.4 billion in fiscal measures to stabilise virus-ravaged economy – Business News , Firstpost

Finance Minister Paul Chan predicted that in contrast to the financial contraction of 6.1% final 12 months, the economy is about to develop 3.5% to 5.5% this 12 months

Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan, heart, attends a press convention on funds for 2021-22 in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Feb, 24, 2021. AP

Hong Kong: Hong Kong will introduce 120 billion Hong Kong {dollars} ($15.4 billion) in fiscal measures to assist companies and residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, because it appears to be like in direction of financial progress later this 12 months following a recession in 2020.

The measures — which embrace tax aid, loans for the unemployed and consumption vouchers — are aimed toward stabilizing the economy, Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan mentioned in a funds speech Wednesday. He forecast the economy is about to develop 3.5 % to 5.5 % this 12 months, in contrast to the financial contraction of 6.1 % in 2020.

The funds for 2021 “aims to alleviate the hardship and pressure caused by the economic downturn and the epidemic,” Chan mentioned.

Unemployed residents can get loans capped at 80,000 Hong Kong {dollars} ($10,300) in a program that postpones funds for the primary 12 months and expenses one % curiosity. The measures come after Hong Kong final week reported a 7 % jobless price between November and January, the best since April 2004.

Vouchers value 5,000 Hong Kong {dollars} ($645) may even be issued in instalments to residents to increase consumption. Businesses and people may even obtain tax aid.

Chan mentioned that Hong Kong’s fiscal deficit is at a document excessive after the federal government final 12 months spent 300 billion Hong Kong {dollars} ($38.7 billion) on supporting measures, together with a money handout to residents and wage subsidies for companies.

He additionally mentioned that mainland China’s economy was “fundamentally sound” regardless of uncertainties from the epidemic and in US-China relations. Hong Kong, as a semi-autonomous Chinese metropolis, will profit from this.

“In the medium term, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the ongoing development of the mainland and the shift in global economic gravity from West to East,” Chan mentioned.

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