Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development (JUSD) calls upon Minister Anthony Hylton and the government to keep the scrap metal industry closed and examine alternative business and employment strategies for individuals involved in this activity.
The proposed re-opening of the industry has already proved to be counter-productive and paints a picture of the economic chaos which will inevitably follow, if this is enacted. The industry was originally closed because of the economic loss to the country, particularly from high-profile and absolutely necessary institutions such as the NWC, JPSCo, LIME, Digicel, public buildings and other property.
Furthermore, the re-opening of the industry can only be an illthought-out invitation to re-open and facilitate the opportunities for more corruption and criminality in the country, as neither the government nor the industry players have the capacity to manage it properly. Already LIME is reporting multi-million dollar losses of cables, and thieves have taken down the metal traffic signs, in anticipation of another opportunity for making money at all costs. Just days ago, also, armed robbers attempted to break into JPSCo’s supply stores.
The Caribbean Policy Research Institute previously made some high-tech and increased workload recommendations for the over-worked police and other beleaguered agencies in an attempt to control the theft of scrap metal in the country. We don’t think these will work. It must be better for us to concentrate on alternative sources of industry and income instead of this high-risk, well known international criminal activity.