Following the measures taken by the government of President Patrice TALON in Council of Ministers on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 to support the companies and strata affected by the health crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, a ministerial delegation composed of Ministers Abdoulaye BIO TCHANÉ of Plan and Development, Romuald WADAGNI of Economy and Finance and Véronique TOGNIFODE MEWANOU of Social Affairs and Microfinance was in front of the press this Thursday, June 11, 2020 in the conference room of the administrative tower of Cotonou, to bring more precision on the measures taken.
The social and financial aspects of the measures were discussed during this press conference. On the social side, Ms Véronique TOGNIFODE MEWANOU said that a census had been launched on 25 April 2020 for citizens whose jobs were affected by the Coronavirus crisis. At the end of this census operation, about 44,000 people were registered, including 13,614 people who practise in the formal sector, 15,585 who practice in the informal and who have been identified in the public registers that are in the town halls or in the national census database, and 15,582 people who are also in the informal and who are unidentified.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr Romuald WADAGNI, gave his opinion on the social measures taken by the government concerning enterprises. From these comments, we note that consultations had taken place since March between the economic actors concerned and the Beninese authorities. Some companies continued to pay salaries and operating expenses despite activities slowing down, if not suspended. For all the companies targeted by the social measures, the Minister WADAGNI has returned largely on the measures taken by the government. He noted that hotels that had already been requisitioned as part of the quarantine are not included in the subsidy.Are concerned by the measure, only hotels not requisitioned. The latter and the restaurants will benefit from the reimbursement of wage and salary related taxes for a period of 03 months up to 70%. In addition, the government will cover all their water and electricity bills for a period of 03 months. Travel agencies will benefit from the same subsidies as hotels. In addition, the government will reimburse their rents for a period of 03 months.
The Minister of Economy and Finance indicated that the Agency of Regulation of Electricity had decided on new tariffs that should have entered into force since March. But given the coronavirus pandemic, that decision was postponed. It will be implemented, but the government will subsidize the surplus for a period of 06 months. With regard to the FCFA 100 billion zero-rate credit line, backed by a 3-year bonus. Any business or entrepreneur can go to banks or micro-finance structures to apply for credit as it usually does. The files will be studied and the credits will be granted, but at a rate of 0%. The costs of study of file are borne by the State.
As for the Minister of State Abdoulaye BIO TCHANÉ, he indicated that these social measures are the result of long reflections made by the government. There was investment in terms of investigation, in terms of listening to the actors, he recalled. The sectors supported were not randomly selected and the amounts allocated were not randomly identified. He went back to the people who were held who registered on the government platform. The information received was cross-checked with the ANIP and other services databases to obtain more details on the data subjects, he concluded.
Source: Government of the Republic of Benin