The Principal Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Prof. Wasswa Balunywa has advised different organizations, companies and institutions within Uganda to scale back on production or their activities if they want to survive the economic problem price that has been brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Balunywa, who was delivering a keynote speech at the 8th CPA Economic Forum over a webinar said, companies, where necessary, should not fear laying off of staff in order to survive to collapse or introduce a flexible working arrangement.
“What you must do at the organization level in order to survive the economic problems of the coronavirus pandemic is you should close down some parts of your business, communicate with suppliers and creditors, communicate with customers, talk to your bankers and take stock of your cash,” said Balunywa over a virtually conducted forum on a webinar.
The CPA Economic Forum is held every year by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU). ICPAU is the national regulator of professional accountants, created in 1992 by an Act of Parliament, now the Accountants Act of 2013.
At an individual level, to overcome the pandemic economic stress, Balunywa said people must re-assess themselves, seek opportunities that are evolving, learn new skills and review their incomes and expenditures.
“The government must revisit its policies by reducing tax, corporate tax rates from 30% to 20%, waive pay as you earn for six months, provide basic services to prevent death, provide cash to people and firms, give wage subsidies, provide tax relief to vulnerable businesses and get businesses back to operation,” said Balunywa.
To reignite the stressed industries, Balunywa said the government must set up an industry re-oxygenation policy by selecting industries to support, avail funds for expenditure, select those industries that support the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy and revisit work policies.
Uganda, being an agriculture-based economy, Balunywa said the government should assist farmers to increase production to feed the region, select agro-based industries to support, address productivity and work ethic, resolve ideological differences and contradictions, address corruption and have the right size of government.
Balunywa said the government must also select sectors in the economy to grow, select sectors to support, have sectors for government ownership, improve productivity, train cadres, deal with corruption and have a firm decision on government ownership.
Globally, the COVID 19 pandemic has led to high inflation, layoffs leading to high unemployment, low production and excessive expenditure on health.
The most hit or affected sectors globally are tourism, transport, education, oil and gas, manufacturing etc.
Some of the social-economic disruptions that have been witnessed in the COVID 19 pandemic are stock exchange declines, business closures, low or no demand for goods and services, bankruptcies, death of individuals and risks of a recession.
BY PAUL TENTENA