KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): The Malaysian plantation fraternity involved in the entire palm oil supply chain will continue to offer sectoral-related and most practical recommendations to policymakers and the authorities to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the industry.
In a joint statement, the associations called on all members and other stakeholders to work together to mitigate the spread of the virus by keeping all plantations and its entire supply chain safe and secure with very strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“We advocate that the plantation sector across its supply chain be allowed to continue to operate in compliance with strict SOPs, thereby sustaining its contribution to the national economy.
“This would be preferable to a total shutdown of an essential pillar of the national economy, with concomitant socio-economic consequences for the industry and hundreds of thousands of smallholders,” they said.
The joint statement was issued by eight associations, including the Malaysian Palm Oil Association, Malaysian Estate Owners’ Association, National Association of Smallholders, Malayan Agricultural Producers Association and Palm Oil Millers’ Association.
The associations viewed that if field and mill operations are called upon to operate on a reduced workforce, this would impact production capacities enormously, and the government would also stand to lose windfall profit levy each month and corporate income tax.
“These losses do not include the losses that will cascade to downstream refiners and the multiplier effect on supporting industries.
“The government can do a great deal for the people with the taxes, including mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic,” they said.
The associations also called on all stakeholders to continue with consultative engagements based on Sabah’s recent model by seeking out and implementing inclusive discussions with the authorities in their respective states, and working towards adopting common but differentiated approaches which embrace sectoral-specificness.
“Let us engage in partnership towards accelerating an end to our common adversary even as we continue to support the dedication of all our hard-working frontliners to contain the Covid-19 virus,” they said.
Source : The Edge Markets