VILNIUS - The Lithuanian government is not planning to provide subsidies to businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus, but the tax authority may consider deferring taxes on a case-by-case basis, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Thursday.
"If someone thinks that the state will start giving out subsidies or support, or replace customers and become a customer itself, then this is not going to happen. However, discussions with individual industries are ongoing, (...) risks are being identified and ways of easing the burden are being considered," Skvernelis told the Ziniu Radijas radio station.
"Should unemployment issues arise, we are ready for this, too. If companies have problems meeting their tax obligations, then I can emphasize very responsibly that the State Tax Inspectorate will approach each case individually and (will consider) all possible legal measures, (such as) deferring obligations and rescheduling (tax payments)," the prime minister said.
"Businesses facing economic difficulties because of the coronavirus will definitely not be subject to sanctions, inconvenience or prosecution," he added.
Skvernelis also hinted that the government has plans how to stimulate the economy and domestic consumption if needed, but did not elaborate on them.
"There is nothing to talk about yet. The country's economy is sound and its finances are under control, too," he said.
He also said that there are no grounds to talk about any economic crisis, adding that Lithuania is ready for all possible challenges.
The Cabinet is planning to tighten up some coronavirus prevention measures at a meeting on Thursday, the prime minister said.
Lithuania has confirmed three coronavirus cases to date. All three tested positive for the virus after returning from northern Italy.
Globally, more than 126,000 cases of the COVID-19 infection have been reported, 4,600 people have died, and over 68,000 have recovered.