FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert complained that TT has too many cars, for which last year private citizens had spent $2.02 billion to buy 19,460 cars, both new and used. He was piloting the Finance Bill 2020 on Friday in the House of Representatives to enact some proposals from the national budget, a second finance bill due in early 2021.
Regarding all types of vehicles, public and private, he said 24,590 vehicles had been bought for $2.76 billion.
Of these, 4,777 were goods vehicles, 196 buses, 10,796 new cars, 8.864 used cars and 157 taxis.
“The importation of cars is possibly one of largest consumers of foreign exchange in TT today. That $2 billion has to be found.” He said that sum has to be sourced as precious foreign exchange and so diverted from other uses.
“We have over one million motor vehicles in TT, one of the highest per capita owners in the world.”
He urged a better prioritisation of TT’s foreign exchange, saying, “There certainly are enough cars in TT at this time.”
Also in the bill, he introduced a measure not stated in his budget to mandate foreign insurance companies to incorporate locally and so operate under the Insurance Act.
Otherwise, Imbert said the Government was trying its best to keep everyone in their jobs and provide compassionate relief to the needy.