- Amid coronavirus and global financial crisis, Algeria has whittled down its budget by "50 per cent"
- But despite the cut, the North African country increased the minimum wage of its citizens from 18,000 dinars ($140) per month to 20,000 dinars
- Algeria has 4,474 Covid-19 cases out of which 463 casualties have been recorded, while 1,936 have recovered
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Amid global financial crisis occasioned by the fall in oil price, Algeria on Sunday, May, 3, slashed the national budget by half. This is amid the coronavirus pandemic which continues to plunge the world into the cesspit of unrest.
The "50 per cent" cut decision was declared in a statement announced from the office of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Algerian president, with the oil-producing country hit by the hook of economic pressure, Middle East Eye reports.
But despite this huge decrease, the government also agreed at a cabinet meeting to increase the minimum wage from 18,000 dinars ($140) per month to 20,000 dinars, while income tax will be abolished for those earning 30,000 dinars or less.
In another big move, the Algerian government also suspended from Sunday, May 10, consideration of a finance law that seeks to frame a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the Covid-19, Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen to $62 billion at the end of 2019, from $180 billion in 2014.
Algeria's Saharan Blend was recently trading at less than $20 a barrel, while this year's budget was based on a price of $50 a barrel, with Benchmark international crudes trading at their lowest in about two decades.
Algeria, which has joined Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil producers in a global deal to curb oil supplies, has repeatedly said it aimed to diversify away from oil and gas.
The country currently has 4,474 Covid-19 cases out of which 463 casualties have been recorded, while 1,936 have recovered according to Worldometre, a reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that more than 44,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in Africa, with over 1,700 deaths, according to the data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday, May 4.
According to the international health organisation, South Africa tops the list of African countries with coronavirus cases as 6,783 have tested positive in the country.
Out of the over 6,000 cases, 131 people have died. Algeria occupies the second spot with 4,474 cases and 463 deaths while Nigeria ranks third on the list with 2,388 cases and 85 deaths.
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