To help the economy deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharjah has rolled out a second stimulus package worth $139.39 million.
The package, introduced following the directives of Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, is the second to be implemented, following an initial series of measures estimated at $130.95 million, says reports.
The latest efforts are intended to “enhance continued growth in different sectors and ease the severity of the economic and social impacts that the world is experiencing due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during this time,” the report said.
The new steps taken by Sharjah include waiving, decreasing or canceling fees for utilities, renting, business operations, property, education, ports and shipping, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), transport and civil aviation.
The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) would split fees for services into installments for economic, commercial and industrial facilities, allowing for easier payments that could extend up to two years.
Until March 2021, Sharjah Municipality will reduce the fees for certifying residential leasing contracts to 2 percent, down from 4 percent.
Exemptions for the renewal of licenses for economic establishments will be continued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department. It will give a 50% discount on the issuance of industrial establishment licenses and will exclude private nurseries for one year from all government fees.
The Emirate would also halve the buyer’s fees for non-GCC citizens to 2 percent of the selling value in terms of land registration as this was 4% previously.
Till the end of March 2021, investors will be exempted from the rental value of investment land leases.
Shipping authorities will minimize the handling, loading and unloading fees, associated fees and marine charges by 20 percent out of the fees due for port operations. They shall also, for a period of 90 days, exempt all bulk goods from storage charges and exempt all shipping and customs clearance undertakings from the bank guarantees necessary to carry out their activities. Depending on the commercial activity, they will also offer discounts of 20 to 50 percent on new licenses.
In a move that is definitely a boon for the aviation industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic globally, Sharjah will also decrease licensing fees for travel agencies and tourism companies by 50 percent till 2021.