At the outset of the meeting, the council discussed the report of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on the situation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in light of the support provided by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to these enterprises during the coronavirus pandemic.
At the beginning of discussion, the council hailed the Amir's support for the private sector through the ongoing economic packages since the start of the pandemic, as the first economic package in 2020 significantly contributed to reducing the effects of the pandemic on the private sector in terms of supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the affected sectors, in addition to providing exemptions for companies for a period of six months on public utility payments as well as rents for logistical areas.
After extensive discussions, the council recommended continuing the government economic packages programme and extending the support as the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic damage may last for a longer period.
In its recommendations, the council called for encouraging government and semi-government agencies and banks to launch initiatives for the private sector during the pandemic period, specifically by facilitating and simplifying procedures for obtaining the benefits of the approved subsidy from economic packages directly, expanding the circle of beneficiaries of the economic packages and government support to include various economic activities such as productive farms and similar economic sectors, finding an appropriate mechanism to support the committee tasked with evaluating and tackling obstacles facing the private sector at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and urging the ministry to accelerate the implementation of support programmes.
The council recommended facilitating the conditions for establishing facilities on lands in the industrial zone, and called for postponing the decision on increasing the rental value and reconsidering that increase, and fixing the terms of contracts for the lands of the industrial zone in a way that does not cause confusion to the beneficiaries of those lands and does not result in an increase in the prices of goods and services that will be reflected in consumers. (QNA)