Scrap dealers ask for changes in draft bill

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Allan Ferguson –

ALLAN FERGUSON, Scrap Iron Dealers Association head, on Monday urged an amending of the Scrap Metal Bill 2022 laid in the House of Representatives last week by Attorney General Reginald Armour for debate on Wednesday.

Ferguson said he was pleased of the fact of the bill – saying it will move an unregulated informal sector to a regulated sector like other businesses – but found some of its provisions too onerous.

“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 reckoned the bill would cause the closure of many scrap metal yards, particularly smaller ones operated from 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.

“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.”

A glance shows 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.