Chastened by the controversy that has dogged the local scrap metal industry for several years, not least the vandalising of costly metal-based infrastructure owned and operated by local utility companies, the Ministry of Business has now re-opened the trade under more restrictive conditions. These include new rules to afford the Minister the prerogative of closing the trade again should operational glitches that compromise its integrity arise in the future.
Having been presented with evidence that metal thieves had been using the scrap metal trade as a means of covering their tracks, government had been forced to intervene under pressure from the victims of metals theft, particularly the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT). The company at one point, had been forced to endure frequent raids on its largely unprotected installations by purloiners seeking out copper, one of the most lucrative metals on the international market. That head of the Ministry’s Scrap Metal Unit, Ian Smith, was able to tell Stabroek Business on Monday that it had not received any report of copper theft from GTT for more than nine months is, the Ministry feels, as good a yardstick as any for determining the effectiveness of its own push back against the metal thieves.
Stabroek Business has also seen a draft of new legislation which, apart from affording a threatened industry the opportunity to continue to do business, will impose restrictive conditions that includes new rules and also create strict criteria for the collection and disposal of scrap metal…..