By Scoop Reporter
THE Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has welcomed Government’s decision to constitute a team of cabinet ministers, technical experts, and trade unionists to look at the sustainability of the mining sector during and beyond the corona Virus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement made available to The Scoop this morning, PMRC says the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted industrial and economic output in countries and regions around the globe with each industry facing unique characteristics that present novel challenges.
It has however advised Government to immediately focus on the protection of health and safety of employees while striving to keep mines functioning as effectively as possible.
It says this can be achieved through the deployment of crisis response units for critical decision making and to monitor financial health of the mines to maintain cash flows in efforts to ensure continuity in operations and supply chains.
It has urged Government to mitigate risks to disruption by instituting early warning mechanisms and implementing measures to protect industry cash flows by deferring tax obligations, considering extension of deadlines and suspension of tax measures that have potential to stall mining and supply chain operations.
It has urged Government to institute a fiscal regime that will respond to the prevailing times and attract greater investment to spur a quick rebound and also ensure minimal disruptions to the supply chain especially critical supplies and consumables that keep the mining sector functional.
It says it is important for industry players to re-think strategies around commodity demand and pricing, work space layout, social distancing and response to future crises.
“Given the economic impacts of the crisis mining sector players are urged to prioritise local suppliers while establishing a fair balance with international suppliers. Like many industries with big challenges to future growth, change is being driven in mining by technology, innovations, better processes, social demands and even new opportunities,” reads the statement.
It says unprecedented impact and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many world over and disrupted livelihoods and that the situation continues to be dynamic and calls for rapid solutions and effective monitoring.
It has appealed to Government to consider the immediate priorities and forecast the future of the mining industry and its evolution.
It says this is one sure way to designing smart strategies to gain competitive advantage and staying ahead.