A policy for the used car industry has been developed and regulation of the sector will see an increase of some 1,000 jobs, says Trade Minister Vasant Bharath.
Bharath disclosed this during his contribution to the budget debate at the Senate sitting yesterday.
The foreign-used car business, he said, was one that was in a very “unregulated manner” although it had brought significant employment and income generation to the country.
Bharath noted that through this industry, other services were generated, such as vehicle servicing, inspection, repairing of vehicles, installation of audio and alarm systems, among other things.
This growth, he said, was in an unregulated manner which forced the ministry to intervene and “trim” the list down from over 400 to 200 people who were recognised dealers.
He said ministry officials visited these dealers’ premises to ensure their legitimacy, and to also ensure they could supply after-sale services to customers. “We expect that by regulating the sector, we are going to be able to create a further 1,000 jobs in a market that already has about 10,000 employees,” said Bharath.
“The objective we have in mind when we were putting in place this policy was to create an efficient management system for the importation and sale of foreign-used vehicles in Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that all foreign-used cars that are imported legally have the proper safety standards to ensure the protection of the consumer from sometimes very unscrupulous and dishonest dealers, and there is a proper warranty system in place to ensure that consumers get value for money,” he added.
Bharath said a policy was developed for the scrap metal industry, which was also unregulated.
He said there was pilferage of iron all over the country, including the theft of pavement covers.
He said during consultations people said crimes such as money laundering and concealment of arms and ammunition were part of this industry.
The policy, he said, will come into effect on January 1.
Bharath also disclosed that a trade policy was also created for this country for the period 2013 to 2017.