ALTHOUGH all citizens are obliged to pay taxes, there are seemingly thousands of people with substantial earnings and fancy titles, yet they don’t pay any tax.
True, increasing number of unregistered garages, some operating from residential areas, employ quite high number of young graduates from vocational training centres as mechanics, painters, electricians...to repair clients’ vehicles.
These backyard garages are sometimes accused of operating as ‘hideouts’ for stolen vehicles, changing the colours and issuing fake registration numbers on the stolen cars to conceal traces.
They are a good source of employment yes, but the bone of contention is; the garages should operate formerly and legally through registration and payment of all taxes to the government. It is common seeing young ‘mechanics’ in overalls repairing vehicles and testing them as drivers, without attending any driving school, let alone possessing the driving license, notwithstanding all the risks associated with driving.
But, who will be responsible incase the novice and unlicensed drivers get involved in road accidents. Some street garages are established indiscriminately, not even observing safety measures. Some operate from close to petrol stations, posing serious public risks. But, it seems all that the garage owners care is to continue minting money.
Previously, there had been some efforts to check the indiscriminately established garages but in vein. And, surprisingly, there cases of vehicles from even public offices serviced at these garages. The informal garages survive partly because there is readily available market.
Many motorists whose key interest is to keep their vehicles moving on the roads prefer these service centres because they are relatively cheap--for they don’t pay taxes and hire cheap labour. Vehicle ownership involves processing its insurance cover, paying road license and clearing the vehicle against any misdeed.
All these processes can be easily traced through formally registered garages.
We firmly believe that it’s high time the authorities either closed all the pirate garages in residential areas or compelled them to comply with the rules and regulations through registration and payment of all applicable taxes.