One week before the implementation of a ban on used tyres, the Guyana Used Tyre Association, and the United Minibus Union are demanding that the government reconsiders its decision.
They are also calling for a proper consultation with the government on the issue before the ban takes effect.
During the Finance Minister’s 2017 National Budget presentation, he announced that there will be a restriction on the importation of used tyres for motor cars, vans, pickups, SUV’s, and mini-buses, with effect from April 1.
Vice President of the Guyana Used Tyre Association, Mustaak Mohamed, at a press briefing expressed his disagreement with the decision. He noted that the body was not consulted before the Minister’s announcement since an estimated 90% of tyres on the roadways are used ones.
“All over the world used tyre use, I import use tyre from Europe. Europe have 28 country and all use used tyre, England use used tyre, America use used tyre, Canada use used tyre, Suriname, all over the world now Guyana want to ban use tyre so, I don’t really know why,” said Mohamed.
The Businessman believes “government do not have work for people. ‘E (Government) don’t create jobs for people. Is the businessman got to create jobs for people and if you pressure de businessman then you can’t do business, you have to close down yah business then.”
The body’s Public Relations Officer also told members of the press that the Association is not seeking a confrontation with government but consultation on the issue at hand.
Meanwhile, President of the United Minibus Union, Eon Andrews said as of next month once the restriction takes effect it is likely that transportation cost will increase.
“Now, what we are advocating, we are asking, and we do support the Used Tyre Association in that the government needs to put thing on hold and speak with persons, they need to speak to people because the sector is so large,” explained Mr. Andrews.
He said “our understanding from the Minibus Union perspective is that a used tyre is not a damaged tyre, it depends on where it comes. Now, one I think it amounts to also disrespect to minibus and taxi service providers.” Andrews also added that “the simple perspective is that government do not provide public transportation, individuals would have invested to help the government to fill that slot.”
According to the Guyana Used Tyre Association, their next step is to take to the streets in the form of a peaceful picketing exercise infront of State House on March 28, since approval was granted to do such.
Both Associations have agreed that once the policy is introduced, more vehicle users will find it harder to buy the new tyres and will continue using a tyre longer than they should.
At the moment it cost $3,500 t0 $4,000 for a used tyre compared to a new tyre which costs $15,000 to $21,000 depending on the brand, the stakeholders said.
Also, Finance Minister, Winston Jordon’s said vehicles which are imported into the country after the first of next month will also be required to be fitted with new tyres along with the spare.
He also clarified that there will be a phase-out period for existing stocks of used tyres which government would have allowed into the country. The Customs duty on new tyres will move from 30% to 15% in keeping with the complete phase out of used tyres.