Prime Minister praises efforts of tourism operators
Maputo, 28 Sep (AIM) – Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Sunday praised the efforts that cooperation partners and tourism operators have been making for the development of Mozambique “in difficult moments”.
Speaking in the southernmost district of Matutuine, in representation of President Filipe Nyusi, during celebrations of World Tourism Day, Rosario said this year the date is being marked with great challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Mozambique’s case, the Prime Minister said, “the closure of our borders, which caused a sharp decline in the movement of tourists, and the limited functioning of tourist establishments, among other causes, led to a fall of over 90 per cent in revenue from the sector, as well as the loss of hundreds of jobs”.
The World Tourism Organisation indicates that globally this year Covid-19 could cause a fall in tourism activity of between 20 and 30 per cent. “The decline will imply a fall in the volume of business at world level of between 300 and 450 billion US dollars, which represents a loss of all the gains made in the total growth of tourism over the past five to seven years”, said Rosario, citing the WTO.
Faced with this reality, he continued, the government “has taken various support measures to mitigate the negative impacts of the coronavirus, always bearing in mind the need to maintain a balance between prevention, fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and the gradual resumption of our economy”.
Rosario said “we have expanded the regular social support for the beneficiaries of the social welfare programmes, which include the basic social allowance, and we introduced the programme to finance micro-businesses in order to assist households whose income generating activities were affected by the impact of the coronavirus, so as to restart their businesses”.
In the economy, continued the Prime Minister, “we took monetary and fiscal measures, in order to relieve companies’ cash flow, by authorising deferred payment of the corporation taxes due in 2020 until the 2021 financial year, and forgiving fines and interest on tax debts, for the most affected taxpaying companies. This will help stimulate economic activity and keep people employed”.
“We are also extending the forgiveness of fines, and the reduction of interest on arrears arising from debts to the Social Security System for the tourism sector and other companies who closed their activities due to the impact of the coronavirus”, Rosario continued. On electricity bills “we deferred payment of the fixed fee for the hotel, cultural and sporting industries, as well as for restaurants”.
For the Prime Minister, “This is the effort possible right now, bearing in mind the capacity of our economy. We believe that, in this way, we are helping the companies to continue operating, ensuring the maintenance of production, providing services and protecting jobs”.