Private sector awaits payments owed

The Government is giving priority to payments owing to the private sector to be cleared before the end of the Financial Year in June.

The Samoa Chamber of Commerce last month requested the Government for the clearance of outstanding payments to private businesses as they reel from the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

The Chamber request made to the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti got a response from the Ministry's Chief Executive Officer, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, who asked for a compilation of members’ full list of arrears owed by the Government for a follow-up and clearance.

Although it is not only Chamber members who are eligible to claim their outstandings owed by the Government, confirmed Leasiosio.

“I can confirm that [it is] payments owing to the private sector in general, not just members of Chamber have been given priority to be cleared before [the] close of [Financial Year],” he said.

Currently, the Chamber is pleading to members to submit the required information as they ensure that any outstanding payment as of 31st March 2020 is settled before the end of the current financial year.

“Your Samoa Chamber of Commerce is working with the Ministry of Finance as part of our partnership with Government to ensure our private sector is supported during this challenging period, that any outstanding payments owing to the private sector [are] settled before the end of the current financial year 30th June 2020,” the Chamber wrote on a social media post.

Earlier this month, the private sector received an enabling boost of $4,371,799.89 from the $66.3 million stimulus package.

These measures include a guarantee for small businesses for three months, Development Bank of Samoa interest relief for two months, $1 million for Samoa Airways, three months rent-free for properties leased at the Airport, two months rent-free for businesses using Samoa Land Corporation market facilities, and three months rent-free for private businesses at the D.B.S.

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