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‘Salary credited!’: Qatar’s wage stimulus helps thousands of employees get paid
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‘Salary credited!’: Qatar’s wage stimulus helps thousands of employees get paid

Santhosh Chandran
Soft loans being disbursed under a wage stimulus package to companies struggling with cash flow amid the COVID-19 pandemic have helped thousands of employees get paid in Qatar.
In March, shortly after a host of restrictions were imposed on commercial activities to contain the spread of COVID-19, Qatar announced a QR75 billion stimulus package to shield the economy from the virus impact. 
The government later announced a COVID-19 National Response Guarantee Programme to help private firms meet their immediate payroll and rental fee payment requirements.
Under the programme, the government has allocated local banks QR3 billion guarantees to finance such requirement as per the Wage Protection System (WPS) registry on a monthly basis.
The soft loans have come as a relief to several companies, especially the small and medium enterprises, which were struggling to meet the critical payments due to the pandemic impact on their consumer and business spending.
According to some of the beneficiaries, a clean track record in salary and rental payments would go a long way in securing the loans.
Chartered accountant and Managing Partner of Parker Russal Shanavas Bava said the government has taken utmost care to ensure that the benefit of the wage stimulus reached the employees. 
“The loan amount will be transferred directly to the employees' accounts. It can only be used to pay salaries and rents and cannot be diverted for any other purposes,” he said. This reflects Qatar’s commitment to ensure timely payment of salaries to the employees, Bava added.
KR Jayaraj, the Regional Manager of Techno Steel and the President of Kerala Business Forum (KBF), said, “The government’s vision behind the economic package is commendable. It is supporting companies to meet their basic financial requirements.” 
Abdulla Theruvath of the Indian Business Professionals Council (IBPC) said the support extended by the government to the business community is highly appreciated.
“The financial support offered by the government is a big relief to a number of financially-disciplined companies in the SME sector,” he added.

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