Soon after the ban on the importation of used tyres took effect, the Government is being asked to revisit this policy in light of the many challenges, current and foreseeable that would accrue from it.
Members of the Guyana Used Tyres Association (GUTA) staged a protest outside State House on Tuesday, calling again on the Government to reverse its decision.
The Association’s Vice President, Mustaak Mohamed said that the concerns of members were not taken into consideration by Government.
However, Mohamed told this publication that there was still time for Government and the Association to meet and come to an amicable solution on the issue.
“They (Government) could call us in, we could come to a compromise and we could discuss the thing. A lot of poor people will be punished and out of a job because of this,” he opined.
Mohamed, who owns a used tyre business, said now that changes have taken place, he would have no choice but to lay off the four persons he currently employs.
“And you check: if you have 500 tyre shops in this country, and each of these businesses has one or more worker, they will be out of a job and the Government has no job for them,” he asserted.
The GUTA official told this publication that despite Government’s decision to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) on new tyres, people would not be able to afford them.
“When can you save $80,000 to buy four tyres? They are making it hard for people,” he stressed.
GUTA’s Public Relations Coordinator, Nizam Hussain told this newspaper that he too was hopeful that the Government would agree to meet with members.
“I am positive that His Excellency, Mr David Granger, with all due respect, if he understands our viewpoint, he will be able to work out with us some arrangement. I am positive that the Government will want to accommodate some sort of an ease for the people of Guyana.”
Hussain spoke about the negative effect the ban on used tyres would have on the economy.
“It will interfere with the shipping, insurance and brokerage companies. There is a domino effect, because once there is an increase in anything that has to do with transportation, prices will go up.”
The Association has posited that the revenues generated by ‘good used tyres’ were in excess of $100 million annually, but with the ban in effect, that figure would be halved.
Moreover, members of the GUTA asserted that the ‘used tyre industry’ allowed for employment of about 5000 young people across the country.
The group has said it understands Government’s concerns regarding used tyres, and has suggested that the Bureau of Statistics develop a mechanism to recognise the ‘good’ used tyres from those that were substandard.
The GUTA suggested that with the ban in effect, there would be “significant increase of wear-tyre use” on the country’s roads, as the high cost of new tyres would force drivers to continue using their current tyres for longer periods.
The ban on importation of used tyres took effect on April 1.