SINGAPORE, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Tuesday while delivering Singapore’s Financial Year 2021 Budget Statement that he will set aside 11 billion Singapore dollars (about 8.3 billion U.S. dollars) for a COVID-19 Resilience Package.
Heng, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, said the package is to address Singapore’s immediate needs to safeguard public health and re-open safely, to support workers and businesses where needed, and to target support for sectors that are still under stress.
According to the documents released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), this includes 4.8 billion dollars dedicated towards public health and safe re-opening measures, 5 billion dollars dedicated towards support for workers and businesses, and 1.2 billion dollars dedicated towards support for specific sectors, such as aviation, tourism and land transport.
The deputy prime minister also said that 24 billion dollars will be allocated over the next three years, to enable Singapore’s firms and workers to emerge stronger.
The MOF documents showed that the new budget sets out the Singaporean government’s plans to continue to tackle the immediate challenges, and build a stronger Singapore that is economically vibrant, socially cohesive, with a sustainable home for all. The government will commit a total of 107 billion dollars in Financial Year 2021 to support these plans.
Heng said the overall budget deficit for Financial Year 2020 is the largest since Singapore’s independence, at 64.9 billion dollars, or 13.9 percent of GDP, driven by lower revenues due to dampened economic activity, and the significant expenditures needed to mount a decisive response to COVID-19.
“For Financial Year 2021, Singapore’s budget position remains expansionary as we continue to tide Singaporeans and our businesses over this crisis with the COVID-19 Resilience Package,” he said, adding that an overall deficit of 11 billion dollars, or 2.2 percent of GDP, is expected for the new financial year. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1.32 Singapore dollars) Enditem