The Lithuanian government is not planning to provide subsidies to businesses affected by the coronavirus, the prime minister says, but the tax authority may consider deferring tax payments.
“If someone thinks that the state will start giving out subsidies or support, or replace customers and become a customer itself, then this is not going to happen,” Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told the radio Žinių Radijas on Thursday.
“However, discussions with individual industries continue, [...] we are identifying risks and considering ways of easing the burden,” he added.
“Should unemployment issues arise, we are ready for this, too. If companies have problems meeting their tax obligations, then [...] the State Tax Inspectorate will approach each case individually and [will consider] all possible legal measures, [such as] deferring obligations and rescheduling [tax payments],” the prime minister said.
“Businesses facing economic difficulties because of the coronavirus will definitely not be subject to sanctions, inconvenience or prosecution,” he added.
Skvernelis also hinted that the government had plans to stimulate the economy and domestic consumption if needed, but did not elaborate on them.
“There is nothing to talk about yet. The country's economy is sound and its finances are under control,” he said.
He also said that there was no grounds to fear an economic crisis, adding that Lithuania was ready for all possible challenges.
Lithuania has confirmed three coronavirus cases to date. All three tested positive for the virus after returning from northern Italy.
Globally, more than 126,000 cases of the COVID-19 infection have been reported, 4,600 people have died, and over 68,000 have recovered.