Venezuela extends economic emergency for another 60 days

Caracas, March 15: Venezuela has declared a two-month extension for the current state of economic emergency, the media reported on Tuesday. The declaration made by the government on Monday will bestow more time on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to intervene in the market, boost productivity and redress a flagging financial sector, officials said. It will also allow the government to take more anti-crisis measures to reduce fiscal moratorium and to tap up funds from the 2015 budget to address short-term social needs, Xinhua news agency reported. "Due to exceptional circumstances...the declaration of an economic emergency must continue in various sectors," said Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz. This view was shared by the first vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, who said the extension "will bring in measures to enhance positive impacts on the national economy. (These will include) actions on healthcare, nutrition, education, employment." At the request of the opposition majority in the National Assembly, Isturiz will explain to lawmakers the achievements made during the first 60 days of the state of economic emergency, which begun on January 16. The Venezuelan government declared a state of economic emergency in January, which was to last for 60 days, in order to lead a "transformation" of the country's beleaguered economy.