NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government plans to expedite a number of domestic and international proposals currently under review in a bid to stimulate economic growth due to COVID-19 economic fallout, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday.
Minnis also foreshadowed an announcement concerning rental assistance for people who have lost jobs or income due to the virus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global economy,” he said.
“We are fighting a health battle and an economic and financial battle. We must and we will win both battles. This week I will make an announcement for those who live in rental properties of a certain value who have lost jobs or income because of COVID-19.
During his national address last night, Minnis said: “We must find new ways of stimulating economic growth.”
“The approvals process for investment projects, both domestic and international, will be accelerated to ensure we get people back to work as quickly as possible. Foreign investment contributes significantly to our economic development.
Minnis continued: “We previously announced the approval of several major investment projects on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera. My office remains engaged with those investors and we are confident that we are in a most favorable position.
“We are taking steps to minimize any impediment to the implementation of these major projects. In addition, there are a number of other investment domestic and international proposals before the government for consideration.”
Minnis said: “We have already begun the process of expediting these proposals. I have directed the Bahamas Investment Authority, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, to move aggressively to remove or minimize obstacles and to facilitate the implementation of these projects.
“We continue to approve incentives under the Hotels Encouragement Act for a number of small- and medium-size business which will assist them in their recovery.”
According to Minnis, the House of Assembly will meet today to debate a resolution to approve the continuance of the public state of emergency, and the emergency powers orders.
“The Resolution will ask for approval for the continuance of a state of emergency until April 8th, 2020, inclusive of the emergency powers and authority in the two Orders. The Resolution extends the Emergency Proclamation for an additional eight days,” he said.
“We must avoid speculation and rely on health officials to continue to advise where the country is in the fight against COVID- 19.
The prime minister added: “I want this curfew to end as soon as possible. I want these restrictions over as soon as possible. But for now we have to stop the spread of this virus. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Royal Bahamas Police Force will increase efforts to enforce the curfew regulations.”