The Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association wants the Government to give members loans to help them reopen the scrap iron industry.
The export of scrap metal has been banned for six months because of an increase in the theft of copper wires and scrap metal from state and private properties nationwide.
Yesterday, association president Allan Ferguson delivered recommendations to the Attorney General’s Office after a request was made for the association to do so.
However, Ferguson said the only updated recommendation for the Government was to assist the industry with loans, similar to what was done during the pandemic.
During the height of COVID-19, there was the SME Stimulus Loan Facility, a government-sponsored loan programme to help micro, small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“We are recommending for the Government to give us some loans so that we can be able to help our members, so they’re able to open back up because when you shut down for a little while, our members have to close down. Some of them shut down in such way that don’t know how they will be opening back based on how much money they will be owing.”
Ferguson said the association asked for $10 million to assist members.
He also blamed some of the incidents of crime on the closure of the scrap iron industry.
“We help people who come out of jail and we do help people who can’t read or can write to able to earn a dollar in an honest way. We tell them all of that and when you take away or strength to help these people, there is nowhere else for them to turn because they can’t go turn to Tom, Dick and Harry for help.”
In August, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs established the Scrap Metal Industry Regulation Ad-Hoc Committee.
The committee has been mandated to come up with draft legislation regarding the scrap iron industry within a three-month period.
On August 15, the AG announced that Government had banned the export of scrap iron and metals for six months.
The ban is scheduled to end in February 2023, although the AG is hoping to end it before this time.