YEREVAN, May 28. /ARKA/. Armenian companies engaged in tourism industry have been provided with 3.5 billion drams worth preferential loans as part of the anti-crisis programs, designed by the Armenian government to offset the consequences of the coronavirus crisis, Economy Minister Tigran Khachatryan said during a government Q&A session in parliament.
He said the government’s assistance included urgent lending to companies in need of funds and simplification of procedures for provision of loans to companies with no unfulfilled financial obligations.
The minister noted that within the framework of the third assistance program, approximately 270 companies providing services in the tourism sector received about 2.7 billion drams and about 800 million drams within the first government program.
“We were able to quickly provide soft loans for them in the amount of 3.5 billion drams,” Khachatryan said.
At the same time, the minister noted that not only travel companies, but also others that are involved in this area, in particular, catering and hotel facilities were provided with assistance.
The Armenian government has designed so far 19 programs to counteract the economic consequences of coronavirus. Of these, nine are designed to provide assistance to agriculture, tourism, SMEs, microbusiness, IT and other industries and the rest to support various groups of the population.
A 30-day state of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus was declared in Armenia on March 16 and restrictions were imposed on free movement of citizens. The government banned also some types of economic activity. On April 13, the government extended the state of emergency for another month and on May 4 it lifted the ban on almost all types of economic activity and the free movement of citizens, except for public transport. On May 14, the government has again extended the state of emergency for another 30 days.
However, despite the extension, public transport, preschools, trading centers, restaurants and gyms have reopened starting from May 18, and wearing of masks has become mandatory in public spaces.
Armenia’s confirmed Covid-19 cases have grown to 7,774 over the past 24 hours. According to the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some 3,255 people have recovered, while the death toll has risen to 98.