By: Yusuf M Hasan
DUBAI (Somalilandsun) – The country might experience difficulties in the import of cars.
This is as a result of a controversy surrounding new rules and tariff imposed by the government on the imports of cars that has raised a hue and cry among Somaliland car dealers/importers who are now threaten stern measures.
A meeting the dealers held in Dubai concluded with a resolution to transfer their business to the Bosaso port in neighbouring Puntland, an administrative region of Somalia to the east of the Country.
This threat that if implemented might lose the central coffers much revenue not to mention political embarrassments came after the ministry of public works imposed an extra $80 on the car import tax as well as measures to regulate the age thence worthiness of imported cars.
To pursue the objective of testing the worthiness of the imported cars most of which are used, second hand, from Dubai the Somaliland authorities have already put in place relevant equipment and skilled staff at the Berbera port.
“Unless the government removes the new car checking equipment from Berbera port as well as make a reversal of the new tax we shall transfer our business to the Bosaso port in Puntland” read a statement released by the car dealers.
While the car dealers are threatening to not only deny the government much needed revenue but to embarrass it by utilizing the Bosaso port the government is doing the right thing by regulating the vehicles that are availed the local market currently overflowed by thousands of imported cars which are not second hand but at the most fifth hand.
It is therefore imperative for the car dealers to stop their Bosaso port threat and adhere to the new regulations and taxation and in return do as they normally do, transfer the extra costs to their long suffering customers of whom they have dealt a hard blow for long through purchase of unworthy cars.
Meanwhile the government should call the bluff of transferring business to Bosaso by decreeing that any that is imported through that route shall not be allowed into the country.
Finally the government having embarked on this move seemingly geared towards saving the country’s motorists as well as roads should keep steadfast and not fall to the bluff of embarrassment made by the car dealers whose time of milking poor landers is over.
On the hand one never stops to wonder why the car dealers have to rush to Dubai to make threats rather than wait for the decision of the parliamentary select committee on social affairs with whom, they, car dealers held a meeting with in Hargeisa last week and intervention promised.