JIS News

Scrap metal trading is to resume on July 15, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda has announced.
He said, however, that this is contingent on stakeholders’ compliance with conditionalities outlined by the Ministry, which has responsibility for the sector.
Trade in scrap metal, inclusive of exportation, was suspended in June, consequent on what Mr. Samuda said at that time, were “illegal activities that now pose a major threat to the economic development of the country and the disruption of essential services.” He raised concern over the reported rampant theft of essential infrastructure for sale in the trade.
Speaking at a media briefing in New Kingston on July 8, Mr. Samuda said the Ministry is ready, “in great part,” to give the go ahead for the resumption of trade on July 15, adding that, thus far, some stakeholders have been co-operative with regard to the stipulated conditionalities. These include: cleaning up the Riverton City landfill, where a significant amount of trading is conducted, and clearing sections of Spanish Town Road that have scrap metal deposits.
“We can’t be in an industry at any cost. You can’t deface the country, to say nothing of the stolen infrastructure. But you can’t take over an entire main road and turn it into a scrap metal yard, as is the case at Riverton. So, I said to the team from Riverton, the key players who were here (at the Ministry for a meeting).I want Riverton cleaned (and) I want Spanish Town Road cleared of scrap metal. And they gave me an undertaking that it could be done by the 15th (of July),” the Minister informed.
“The day that this is so, and we have it properly organized, where we have locations that the Commissioner of Customs has signed off on and feels safe for his officers to go and inspect loading, that is the day we start back,” he added.
Mr. Samuda said the stakeholders have identified three locations along Spanish Town Road, which are to be cleared, and that they are also “working very well in clearing the Riverton (landfill) of scrap metal.”Noting that Riverton was home to a number of persons, the Minister stressed the need for that area to be “organized.”
“I have said (that) we have to get organized.so that the community and people who live there can feel comfortable. And they (stakeholders) have given me that undertaking and they are proceeding with (it). In fact they have called on us (at the Ministry) to help them to get additional trailers to get the stuff out, and we want to clear it out, because it clears the country of scrap mental that is genuine scrap, it earns foreign exchange (and) it provides jobs. So it is a good industry. The good mustn’t all suffer for the bad,” Mr. Samuda emphasized.
He underscored the Ministry’s responsibility to put systems in place, which would ensure that all sector interests are regulated.
The Minister pointed out that not all stakeholders would be in a position to commence trading on July 15, as only 19 of the 63 traders had met the stipulated criteria up to last week when he met with them.
“We are expecting that by the time July 15 (comes), based on our discussions, that perhaps (as much as) half of the 63 will meet the criteria. There are, however, some who won’t, and probably never will. But that is how we are going to operate it,” Mr. Samuda said.

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