Mining firms urge Zambian government to shield them from COVID-19 impact

The IMF last week forecast Zambia’s economy will contract by 3.5% in 2020, from growth of 1.5% in 2019. /VCG Images

The Zambia Chamber of Mines has urged the government to help cushion the industry from the impact of COVID-19.

The chamber said in a statement it had submitted a broad three-phase economic plan to the government, to help it manage the effects of the pandemic.

“Since then all mining industry stakeholders have been hoping that some significant stimulus measures would be instituted, as is being seen across the world,” it said.

The proposal includes immediate relief measures that could be followed by an emergency support package whose financing could be sought from the IMF and World Bank.

“This was with a view to providing some guidance to government on the critical areas to be urgently addressed,” the statement said.

The proposal also included the implementation of a “fight back” fiscal regime once the COVID-19 pandemic had abated and investment was needed to rebuild the economy, it said.

The IMF last week forecast Zambia’s economy will contract by 3.5% in 2020, from growth of 1.5% in 2019.

Zambia is one of 52 African countries that have reported cases of COVID-19. The Southern African country has recorded 74 cases and three deaths.