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Turkey will not allow deferral of bills under coronavirus measures: minister

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Turkey is not considering any delay in payments of household or business bills under its stringent measures to fight the global coronavirus outbreak, the finance minister said on Thursday, adding that public servants will continue working in their offices.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has claimed that Turkey is one of the countries affected minimally by coronavirus shutdowns, according to the Turkish media.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced a TL 100 billion ($15 billion) support plan for economic sectors hit by the global virus outbreak.

Albayrak also said Turkey would post an economic growth rate above expectations in the first quarter of this year, downplaying the risks posed by the coronavirus in global financial markets.

“It went from the corona pandemic to the fear pandemic,” Albayrak told private broadcaster NTV.

Meanwhile, the İstanbul and Ankara municipalities, run by an opposition party, have delayed rents and payments for several services.

The Treasury this week announced that the payment of income and value added taxes for sectors most affected by coronavirus shutdowns, including the automotive, transportation, food and entertainment industries, would be delayed.

The Turkish government has imposed a partial lockdown to fight the spread of the virus, which was first seen in China and has spread rapidly to more than 100 countries, killing thousands.

Turkey has announced three deaths and nearly 200 cases related to COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus.

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