The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, is adversely affecting economies and businesses around the world. Governments are announcing relief measures to mitigate its economic impact and help individuals and businesses navigate these unprecedented times.
This newsletter highlights the key economic and tax measures taken by the government of Oman in response to the outbreak:
1. Economic measures
On 18 March 2020, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) announced a comprehensive incentive package to inject additional liquidity of more than OMR 8 billion (USD 20.78 billion) into the economy. Key measures announced as part of the package include:
In addition to the above, on 23 March 2020, the CBO announced additional measures urging banks to identify the ‘most critical functions’, which need to be carried out without disruption, and provide suitable staff (and backup), both at the premises and working from home. These functions, at a minimum, should include:
|Electronic/digital payments||Trade transactions|
|Online services||Treasury operations|
|International payments/remittances||Emergency loans|
|Processing of salary payments||Government transactions|
|Cheque processing||Call centres|
|ATM/CDM services||Fraud/cyber risk monitoring services|
2. Tax relief measures
The following corporate tax relief measures were announced by the government on 31 March 2020:
In addition to above, other tax measures announced by the government included:
3. Customs-related measures
The Omani customs authority has announced that where the importer is unable to obtain or produce the necessary authorizations (i.e., documents and certificates of the goods from the exporting country), the relevant goods will still be cleared.
Further, the current requirement to obtain a guarantee for the non-submission of original legalized documentation has been waived until further notice.
4. Other relief measures
The Covid-19 pandemic, and precautionary measures taken by the Sultanate of Oman, have affected the normal operations of the business sector and given rise to various challenges. With a view to mitigating the effects of these precautionary measures, the government has introduced a number of relief initiatives to relax statutory and regulatory compliance for businesses. These measures would also likely help in the management of financial and operational burdens.