After months of being mum on closure of the scrap metal trade, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin has affirmed that the trade will be reopened in November, along with the completion of comprehensive reforms, which was suggested by an auditing firm in 2015.
Gaskin stated that in an attempt to expedite the reopening of the trade, the ministry began developing a proposal in consultation with the organisation. However, when the proposal was taken to Cabinet for approval on April 5, 2016 it was deferred to accommodate wider consultations.
He stated that consultations were held on April 15 and 22 and on July 19 and that the Guyana Metal Recyclers’ Association (GMRA) was involved in each consultation, as were other stakeholders.
In 2015, Ram and McRae produced a forensic audit report, revealing a string of irregularities, including the mishandling of packing procedures for scrap and the expenditure of millions of dollars in the Scrap Metal Unit within the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
Also last year, the government removed the responsibility of the trade from the Central Housing and Planning Authority to the Ministry of Business.
“As you are aware, these reforms include legislative amendments, new regulations and the application of smart solutions in monitoring the trade,” Gaskin stated, noting that a proposal will be made to Cabinet within two weeks and so until such time he cannot commit to a date for trading to resume.