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Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has stated the country expects a state deficit of USD 778.2 million as a result of economic repercussions following global COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking in a press conference at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Minister Ameer said the economic impact of the pandemic will be more significant than initially estimated, and hence, the government is putting various efforts to reduce the impact of the unforeseen global economic shortcomings.
The minister said although the budget for the year is already an inflated one, it is now expected the state to incur over USD 778 million in deficits while the initially projected 8% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will also slow down to 5.7%. He further said the tourism industry will also record a loss as the number of tourist arrivals is expected to reduce between 37-50% as compared to the previous years.
In a bid to reduce the impact of the pandemic, the government has decided to cut USD 64.8 million in costs to continue developmental projects it has planned.