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Monday , September 28 2020

Coronavirus and the private sector !

Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi

IN any devastating crisis, there have been victims. Therefore, in a major global crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic that is battering humanity, many have suffered and continue to suffer.

This virus, which cannot be seen with naked eyes, has managed to disrupt almost all aspects of life; shutting down businesses and transportation, rendering both the public and private sectors to come to a standstill due to the panic it has created throughout the globe.

There is nowhere to run. Worst of all, despite the technological breakthroughs in science to an unimaginable level, the health systems in all countries have collapsed. Since its outbreak, none of the research laboratories managed to produce a vaccine or medicine that can combat this virus.

The whole world has resorted to staying at home out of fear of coming in contact with those who have been infected. Most of the hope has been cast on the use of face masks and hand gloves.

In this regard, governments have cushioned its employees from the effect of this crisis such as by paying their salaries. However, the private sector employees are suffering the most, especially in terms of receiving salaries and paying rents. Most of the establishments are unable to fulfill their obligations towards their employees because work operations have stopped due to this pandemic.

The private sector is not facing tough obligations at the current time, let alone the fact that its employees also deserve salaries in order to fulfill their obligations towards their families and so forth.

Almost all business operations have been suspended, and the liquidity meter is at zero level in significant number of establishments in the private sector. The questions to ask in this regard are – What is the solution? What financial plans are in place?

There are several solutions, but every one of these solutions must be principled. It is logical to assume that any establishment operating in trade or investment sector has to possess financial reserves in any given form, such as deposits. There is the assumption that there should be fixed assets of a certain value, in addition to having accounts that have reasonable cash flow.

Based on the above, the relevant establishment can rely on this and acquire soft loans to cover its obligations as well as prevent the business from collapsing especially during times like this when the interest rates are at the lowest levels.

Also, under such circumstances, the tendency for creativity and unique approach in matters appear in terms of the leadership abilities. Indeed, we are aware of the fact that “Almighty Allah does not impose on any soul a responsibility beyond its ability”. In this respect, there are various solutions that can be adopted.

For instance, working from home, giving long paid-leave to employees whose services are not necessarily needed during this time of crisis, and other solutions that can emerge with serious deliberation, not forgetting the adage – Necessity is the mother of invention.

Currently, the world is going through a difficult time, the end of which is not foreseeable at all. However, there is no doubt that this crisis will come to an end, and those who will be remembered are the ones who dealt with the situation ideally and protected the establishments and their employees … and the opposite is the same.

Twitter – @alzmi1969

By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi

“I once read that most people who take bold stances are the least to talk about boldness” – Saudi novelist Abdul Rahman Munif (1933-2004).

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