BY DEVINA SAMAROO
Hundreds of concerned stakeholders have signed a petition to take to Parliament next week in an effort to convince the Government to rescind its decision to ban the importation of used tyres into the country.
The initiative is being spearheaded by a newly formed Used Tyre Association in an effort to up pressure on Government, since previous cries have fallen on deaf ears.
President of the Association Allan Newark told (Guyana Times) on Thursday that the petition, which will be presented to the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs, has garnered signatures from persons all across Guyana, including Berbice, Essequibo and Linden.
He argued that with more than one thousand citizens disapproving of a decision taken by Government, especially in light of the fact that there was no prior consultation with stakeholders beforehand, immediate actions must be taken to address the situation.
The petition is seeking to have a meeting with Finance Minister Winston Jordan during which the dealers in the industry will have an opportunity to present their case to Government.
“We are just asking to be consulted, we want to be a part of the process…,” Newark stated, proposing that used tyres could be regulated instead of being banned.
“It’s about standards, there must be standards in the law that will make tyre legal for use on the roads. Set a minimum requirement but don’t ban it,” he asserted, noting that the prohibition of used tyres has the potential to put five thousand young people on the breadline.
“Five thousand youngsters will be put out of work if these tyres are to be banned because young people work at these vulcanising shops, they are employed there and the Government is supposed to be big on youth employment,” he stated.
Newark also pointed out that the ban of used tyres on the basis that “they cause accidents” is outright absurd.
“There are a lot of crazy words banging around about used tyres causing accidents, they don’t. Used tyres don’t drive cars, people drive cars,” he posited.
During the National Budget 2016 presentation, the Finance Minister announced Government’s intention of banning the importation of used tyres, in an effort to promote a green economy and protect the environment.
He had stated that the ban will be put into effect as soon as procedural hurdles are cleared.
Meanwhile, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards has since been monitoring the quality and labelling of both new and used tyres imported and offered for sale in Guyana, and will continue to do so until the proposed ban takes effect and used tyres have been phased out.