The presentation of the $230B National Budget last Friday, revealed the government’s
intention to ban used tyres while reducing the tax on new ones.
While some observers have applauded the government’s move based on various aspects including safety, health and the need to avoid Guyana from becoming a “dumping ground”, various used tyre dealers have expressed their concerns saying that the move was a bad one.
Kaieteur News visited the used tyres outlets yesterday to find out from businessmen how the ban, if effectively implemented, will affect their businesses.
Forbes Garraway, of Forbes Vulcanising, said that he is an importer of used tyres. He currently has about 5,000 in stock.
He stated that while he recognises that in order to have positive change, some systems must go, the government should also keep in mind that the “small man needs to live”.
“It is a bad move. The reduction of the tax on new tyres will not be much, so it will still put pressure on the “small man”, who is already struggling to make a living,” Garraway said.
Asked about the safety and health hazards that used tyres may contribute to, Garraway replied, “Used tyres don’t cause accidents, speed and drunk driving causes it.”
He stated that the government should put a system in place to monitor the quality of tyres
“In other countries that sell used tyres, there are different grades; you have the A, B and C grade. When the container comes in (Guyana), they should inspect the quality of the tyres before clearing it.”
“If they ban it, I will still survive and so will my staff because we sell new tyres too but what will happen to people who only deal with used tyres and have workers?”
During the interview, Garraway was flanked by persons who appeared to be drivers, who at various points interjected.
“Many cars will (have to) park up. How many people will afford to buy new tyres?” one bystander asked.
“I hope this be the last ban they make because we had one government that used to ban food (products) and many people used to walk around with white mouth,” said another.
Another importer on Sheriff Street, who requested anonymity, said that Guyana is not ready for a ban on used tyres.
“Guyana is still a developing country. What they (Government) should do is to up the quality of the tyres being imported; from the last grade to maybe the second grade and as times goes by and the country steps up, they up it to the next grade,” the man stated.
He also pointed out that better infrastructure needs to be put in place before the ban becomes into effect.
“Now, they want to ban (used tyres), then fine, but they should ensure we get good roads to use we good tyres,”
Kevin Jagroop, who owns a vulcansing workshop on East Bank Demerara, said that while the government is trying to instill better vehicular safety practices, it should consider doing a survey to find out if the ban will be “okay” with everyone especially, the taxi and bus operators.
“Used tyres does help poor people out a lot. Instead of buying one tyre for $40,000, a poor man can buy four (used tyres) for that same price. Taxi man and bus man are my customers and when they come for tyres they don’t ask for brand new ones, its used tyres they ask for; because it cheaper. Hardly people buy new tyres and the roads bad; you drop in a hole – tyre damage.”
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