Scrap Iron dealers say draft bill could lead to demise of industry; want amendments made

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Scrap Iron dealers say draft bill could lead to demise of industry; want amendments made

The Scrap Iron Dealers Association is calling for an amendment of the Scrap Metal Bill 2022, which was laid in the House of Representatives last week by Attorney General Reginald Armour and which is set for debate tomorrow, Wednesday.

The association’s president, Allan Ferguson, said although he is pleased with the steps being made, he finds the provisions of the bill too onerous.

Ferguson said “While the bill paves the way for us to move from an unregulated informal sector to a regulated sector standing side by side with other businesses, the draft bill will create some hardship with some of the 25,000 plus poor and under-educated who will never be considered employable in a formal sector.”

He hoped both houses of Parliament would enact a law to facilitate a smooth process to approve participants in the sector.

“We also would like common sense to be at the forefront understanding that if you need to load a container you will need to inform and get permission from the Commissioner of Police.
“Is this the most effective way to facilitate business?

“In its current form, we believe this bill will contribute to the further demise of our industry as it will prevent people who work in the landfills to become employed.”

Ferguson added: “The Bill will also see the closure of many yards, particularly the smaller ones where persons operate from their dwelling houses.”

He said in examining the bill, the association found that some of its terms would not be in the best interest of many individuals reliant on on scrap metal for survival.

The draft bill proposes fines of up to $500,000 or $250,000 respectively and a one or two year prison sentence upon summary and indictable conviction for some offences.

Offences include a failure to display a scrap metal dealers licence, failure to notify any changes, failure to keep/produce proper records, and failure to ascertain the identity of metal sellers.

“As a result, we are urging the government to let good sense prevail for the people of this industry and by extension the citizens of TT.”