Singapore unveils $3.5 billion in economic spending to combat coronavirus

Singapore’s overall budget deficit for financial year 2020 is expected to increase to S$44.3 billion, or 8.9 percent of GDP, as economic spending is boosted to combat the effects of coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 06 April 2020

Singapore unveils $3.5 billion in economic spending to combat coronavirus

  • ‘This is an unprecedented budget for extraordinary times’
  • Singapore’s overall budget deficit for financial year 2020 is expected to increase to S$44.3 billion, or 8.9 percent of GDP

SINGAPORE: Singapore announced S$5.1 billion ($3.55 billion) in additional economic spending such as wage support, waiver of levies and one-off payments to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an unprecedented budget for extraordinary times,” Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told parliament on Monday, just over a week after the city-state unveiled more than $30 billion in new support measures as it braces for its worst recession.
On Friday, Singapore said it will close schools and most workplaces for a month as part of stricter measures to curb a recent jump in coronavirus infections. Singapore has reported a total of 1,309 infections and six deaths from the coronavirus.
Heng said the new measures unveiled in the third budget will increase the total spending on coronavirus relief to S$59.9 billion or 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). He said Singapore will draw an additional S$4 billion from its past reserves to fund the new measures.
“The situation remains highly fluid and uncertain. The government stands ready to provide further support should it become necessary,” Heng said.
Heng said Singapore’s overall budget deficit for financial year 2020 is expected to increase to S$44.3 billion, or 8.9 percent of GDP.


Russia says OPEC+ meeting to be held on Saturday

Updated 36 sec ago

Russia says OPEC+ meeting to be held on Saturday

MOSCOW: The Russian energy ministry said a video conference of a group of leading oil producers, known as OPEC+, would be held on Saturday.
Separately, an OPEC+ source said that the OPEC conference was scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Vienna time (1200 GMT) on Saturday followed by the OPEC+ online meeting at 4 pm.