By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA|The year 2020 was a tough one for all, especially the business entities.
As Ugandans enter day three of the new year 2021, calls for more business reliefs are already being extended to government.
Property mogul, Dr Sudhir Ruparelia has asked the government to extend business reliefs to enable economic recovery of businesses that are struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is also my prayer that the government extends, into 2021 and possibly 2022, many of the credit relief and tax administration measures it had put in place at the peak of the first wave, to aid quicker economic recovery,” Dr Sudhir said in his New Year statement.
In April 2020, the government through Uganda Revenue Authority announced the various initiatives among them the credit relief measures and the tax administration measures aimed at easing some pain for the private sector.
According to Dr Sudhir, the founder and chairman of the Ruparelia Group, observing the Covid-19 mitigation Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) is essential for the reopening of the economy almost fully, saving jobs as well as raising the necessary tax revenue to keep many of the government programmes running.
The Covid 19 pandemic has so far claimed over 2500 lives and left more than 35, 000 Ugandans infected. The jobs lost due to the pandemic cant be ascertained at the moment.
In April 2020, at least 4200 companies across the country shut down as a result of Covid-19 lockdown after they failed to maintain the workers and other SoPs that were issued President Museveni and the Ministry of Health that required the factories to keep their staff on-site if they were to continue operating during the lockdown.
Dr Sudhir also the Honorary Consul of Nepal to Uganda, described the year 2020 as the most challenging for his company that was established more than 30 years ago saying that the company which is among the major employers was forced to shut down doors to thousands of its staff and customers which is one of the hardest things we had to do.
“As a group, we reached deep within ourselves for some innovations such as online learning across all our educational institutions, put in place extra health and safety standards at our buildings and hotels and adopted home working for some of the non-essential staff. Most importantly, we still kept thousands of jobs,” revealed Dr Sudhir.
The Ruparelia Foundation under the stewardship of Dr Sudhir was among the consortium of companies that responded to the government’s call to donate towards the Covid-19 relief appeal.