Colombia declares economic emergency to fight effects of Covid-19

El presidente colombiano Ivan Duque. Foto:

HAVANA TIMES – Colombia on Wednesday declared a second economic emergency to help companies struggling with the effects of Covid-19.

The 30-day emergency allows President Ivan Duque to adopt law-like measures via decree without going through Congress.

The measures will focus on small and medium-sized companies, Duque said on television.

They include the possibility of the state subsidizing 40 per cent of employees’ salaries on certain conditions, and the postponement of income tax payments until the end of the year.

Duque already declared an economic emergency on March 17, announcing social measures for vulnerable groups and credit facilities for companies.

The government on Tuesday extended a quarantine which has been in force from March 25 until May 25, while starting to gradually open up the economy.

The country’s central bank expects a contraction of 2 to 7 per cent this year.

The South American country has recorded nearly 9,000 Covid-19 cases and 397 deaths.

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