World Markets

Algeria suspends tax payments for firms affected by coronavirus

Credit: REUTERS/RAMZI BOUDINA

Algeria's government, aiming to ease the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on state and private firms, will freeze the payment of taxes, the finance ministry said on Monday.

ALGIERS, July 27 (Reuters) - Algeria's government, aiming to ease the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on state and private firms, will freeze the payment of taxes, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The move, which comes amid growing pressure on state finances due to a drop in energy earnings, follows a decision earlier this year to suspend the implementation of penalties on companies for delays in carrying out projects.

The government has also approved a measure to defer or reschedule loan payments for firms suffering losses due to restrictions meant to limit the spread of the pandemic.

OPEC member Algeria's economy has been significantly hit because of a fall in global crude oil prices since the coronavirus outbreak which pushed down demand on international markets.

Oil and gas account for 60% of the state budget and 93% of total export revenue as the authorities have failed for now to diversify the economy away from energy.

Lockdowns aimed at reining in infections have further affected production in the North African nation of 45 million people.

The economy contracted 3.9% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with a 1.3% growth in the same period last year, according to official data.

But that situation has not prevented the government from taking steps to help firms with the aim of maintaining output and jobs mainly in the non-energy sector.

"Those measures aim to alleviate the repercussions of the health crisis and ensure the revival and preservation (of firms') activities," the finance ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

((hamid.ouldahmed@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest World Markets Videos

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More