COVID-19 live updates: Gov’t announces $450M financial stimulus package

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Red Fox
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COVID-19 live updates: Gov’t announces $450M financial stimulus package

Post by Red Fox » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:54 am

Banks to defer loan repayments for all businesses in private sector
10.01pm | March 30, 2020

The government has announced a deferment of bank loan repayments of up to a year for businesses, private sector employees and self-employed individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic starting April 1.

The loan repayment deferral, worth about $250 million, is part of the government’s $450 million economic stimulus package to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The economic stimulus package includes the previously announced interim measures such as wage subsidy and social security contributions.

The newly-added measures under the financial package are as follows:

Deferment of the principal payment of loans or financing to all business sectors;
Restructuring and deferment of principal amount on personal loans and hire purchase facilities such as car loans for not more than 10 years;
Deferment on the principal amount or financing of real estate;
Restructuring of outstanding credit card balances into a loan for a period of not more than three years. This is applicable to those in the private sector only, including those who are self-employed. However, this does not include increasing the amount of credit card limit during the three-year period.
All bank fees and charges, except third party charges, will be waived.
Applications for the deferral can be made to the respective banks and financial institutions from April 1 to December 30, 2020. The deferment is from the date of approval until March 31 next year.

During a press conference, Second Finance and Economy Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said applications are subject to assessment of their banks and financial institutions.

“With the addition of these relief measures, it is hoped that banks would be able to support businesses and individuals who are affected, thus alleviating their financial burden under these difficult circumstances,” he said.

The minister said the banking sector in Brunei remains resilient, stable and has sufficient capital funds.

For more information on these measures, the public can contact their banks or AMBD at 2388388 or email info@ambd.gov.bn.

Mosque closure extended for another week
8.24pm | March 30, 2020

All mosques, surau and prayer halls will remain closed for a third week to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the religious affairs minister announced on Monday.

YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman said the COVID-19 situation remains dangerous in Brunei, thus the decision to extend the closure.

He said mosques and other places of worship have been disinfected and steps will continue to be taken to ensure they remain clean and safe when they reopen.

The temporary mosque closure does not apply to the observance of Nisfu Syaaban, which falls on April 8. However, this may change depending on the latest COVID-19 developments.

One new case confirmed; new virology lab opens on April 1
7.51pm | March 30, 2020

The Ministry of Health recorded one new COVID-19 case on Monday, a three-year-old boy who is a close contact of a previously confirmed patient. The national tally of coronavirus cases stands at 127.

Another four patients have been allowed to return home after making full recoveries. A total of 38 people have been discharged from the National Isolation Centre so far.

In his daily press briefing, Health Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Isham Hj Jaafar said three patients are now in critical condition while one is being closely monitored.

Four out of nine Bruneians who tested positive for the coronavirus in Kuala Kumpur have also returned home. They are linked to the Tabligh gathering cluster in Malaysia’s Sri Petaling Mosque.

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