COVID-19: Govt keeps keen eye on economy
The Government is currently monitoring the economic implications of the novel coronavirus outbreak to devise appropriate interventions.
The monitoring is currently being overseen by a steering committee made up of officials from the public and private sectors.
The steering committee, led by the Finance ministry, is assessing economic aspects affected and, to what extent, to formulate and design fiscal and policy interventions.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, told The New Times that findings from the monitoring will pave the way for development and implementation of interventions depending on magnitude of problems.
“We are monitoring to understand the extent of impact and problem at the moment, likely challenges in coming weeks to be able to have tailored solutions. We cannot have a policy intervention without fully understanding the extent of the challenges,” he told The New Times.
The committees both at the level of national steering and technical committees are made up of government agencies, as well as the private sector representatives from all sectors.
The diversity is expected to give insights into sectors affected to improve relevance of intervention.
So far, preliminary data shows that there was not much impact in February but starting March, a number of sectors are likely to be affected.
Among sectors likely to require policy or fiscal interventions include trade, manufacturing and services among others.
In times of crisis such as the current Coronavirus outbreak, governments design and implement interventions to cushion various sectors of the economy that could adversely be affected.
This mitigates consequences such as reducing slowdown of the economy, ensuring the continuance of supply chains, protecting small and medium entrepreneurs, avoiding bankruptcy of start-ups among other challenges.
Policy and fiscal interventions could, for instance, reduce the cost of operation of specific entities to ensure they remain in business and maintain employment.
Other interventions could be aimed at avoiding inflation and price hikes to ensure that the public can afford basic goods and services.