Bahamas government proposed post-COVID recovery budget

The government of Bahamas has proposed a post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery budget. The recovery budget includes US$250mn for the development of small businesses, US$100mn for hospital infrastructure, and US$40mn for the employee incentive program.

Bahamas: The government of Bahamas has proposed a post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery budget. The recovery budget includes US$250mn for the development of small businesses, US$100mn for hospital infrastructure, and US$40mn for the employee incentive program.

The Prime Minister of Bahamas Hubert Minnis stated that so far, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost around atleast US$290mn by excluding the lost tax revenue and the economic activity. PM Minnis added that this post-pandemic budget would help the Bahamas to strengthen its fiscal position.

PM asserted, “As we continue to lead the nation out of the ravages of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that our efforts thus far have positioned the economy to be strong and sustainable, not only to recover but also to thrive in a post-pandemic world.”

The post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery budget also includes reserves for tourism development and for digital transformation.

The Bahamas government is also planning to start a five-year assistance program for the development of a small business development centre – SBDC with an amount of around US$35mn.

Despite this, the government is also planning to invest an amount of over US$70mn in Princess Margaret Hospital and an amount of US$19mn in a new four-story tower at Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

The World Bank has also approved an amount of US$100mn loan as a part of a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the Bahamas.

World Bank Country Director for Caribbean countries – Tahseen Sayad has stated that “The Bahamas island has suffered one of the most rigorous economic contractions in the Caribbean region and this assistance provided by World Bank would contribute to the nation’s efforts to reduce vulnerabilities of citizens most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and support policy and institutional measures for an elastic recovery.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the island has reported a total of 11,647 cases, out of which 10,608 individuals have been recovered from the deadly virus, and the island has a death rate of 227.