The government intends to submit a supplementary budget of €220m to parliament for approval in the next few days as it rolls out measures to support businesses stricken by the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said on Monday.
Most of the cash will go to the labour ministry’s schemes to support employment while €100m will be used for the direct funding of small businesses and the self-employed.
Speaking before the House finance committee, Petrides said the rest of the measures he announced last week will not require parliamentary approval.
Those include €500m in guarantees from the European Investment Bank to finance SMEs and €400m to the entrepreneurship fund.
An additional €180m will be needed to subsidise interest rates, the minister said. The first payment is expected in March 2021.
“My intention, with the agreement of parliament, is to submit a supplementary budget in the next few days to cover the labour ministry’s new schemes and the direct subsidisation of businesses,” he said.
Petrides had to come up with a fresh raft of measures after he pulled a bill for state-backed borrowing over disagreements with the opposition.
The minister said he decided to withdraw the bill after two months of haggling because opposition amendments made it unenforceable.
Among the opposition’s demands was the inclusion of the auditor-general on a committee to supervise the process, which would have been carried out by commercial banks.
Source Cyprus Mail