Tunisia’s parliament on Monday approved an economic stimulus law that allows people to open foreign currency accounts for the first time and also allows businesses and individuals to agree to a financial settlement for currency violations.
The law, which has been stuck for years in parliament, will allow businesses to easily access loans and withdraw money from the black market as they struggle to cope with the African country’s worst economic crisis North. Tunisia saw its debt burden increase and its economy contract by 8.8% in 2020, with a budget deficit of 11.4% of production. Gross domestic product (GDP) declined 3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a year ago.
The country began talks in May with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a financial aid program. The law will reduce taxes for real estate investors and allow businesses to settle foreign exchange violations by paying fees owed plus 10% interest.
It will also reduce cash payments by adding a 5% fee, which will help the transition to bank card transactions and online shopping. ($ 1 = 2.7504 Tunisian dinars) (Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jane Wardell)
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