The number of imported vehicles continues to increase yearly and will need further regulations to curb the rise.
That’s according to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury principal statistician Henry Risoni.
He was sharing his views in light of the increasing number of vehicles in Honiara city and other provincial centres.
Raisoni said in 2016, a total of 2,383 were imported. Figures for last year are still being compiled.
“That figure is relatively high considering the bad state of the roads in our city and towns,” he said.
“Our country is very small and our road infrastructure is not good enough but vehicle imports has been unbelievably higher,” Raisoni added.
“Government should come up with a strict policy to minimize the number of imported vehicles per year, because this is also a contributing factor to the ongoing traffic jam.
“The demand for vehicle in the country is very high.
“This has resulted in the increase of imports.
“Nearly every week we have vehicles coming in from overseas, despite the bad state of our roads.
“People still import vehicles for their own specific reasons, some for business purposes while others for personal use.”
Raisoni stated that the only way to decrease vehicle import is for government to control the import of vehicle using available measures such as increase taxes on vehicle imports with the aim of preventing environmental and health setbacks.
He said despite the increasing taxes imposed by the government, imported vehicles continue to increase every year.
In this case, the deterrence is not very effective and the government must look for alternative ways to curb imports, he said.
Raisoni pointed out that most imported vehicle are used ones, no longer legally permitted for use in their country of origin.
Risoni said one way to reduce imported vehicles is for government to put a strict policy on importing old or second hand vehicles, especially cars, because they emit more harmful gases (emissions) than new cars.
Furthermore, importing used cars also increase the amount of solid wastes on our dumping sites, he said.
“Personally, I feel that that the government should also think of setting up a recycling industry so that solid waste disposals in the form of written off and scrap vehicle are greatly reduced through recycling.”
Statistics show in the last five years the period 2015-2016 recorded the highest number of imported vehicles.
“Imported vehicles also contribute to tangible effect of foreign currency and it can also affect the economic growth in the country.
“Therefore the government should start reducing the number of imported vehicles,” Raisoni stated.
By LYNNISSHA RUNA