Shops and food stalls in PAP-run estates to get 15% S&CC rebate

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About 26,000 shops as well as market and food stalls in People's Action Party (PAP)-managed towns will get a 15 per cent service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebate from July to October.

The relief, totalling nearly $3 million, will help to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on shop operators and hawkers, said Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of PAP town councils yesterday.

There are 15 town councils managed by the PAP. The 16th, Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), is managed by the Workers' Party.

Dr Teo said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the operations of many HDB shops and hawkers in our heartlands.

"The livelihood of these operators and their workers, many of whom are our HDB residents, has been drastically impacted, with some facing possible business closure and loss of employment.

"We hope to provide some relief to these shop operators and hawkers, so that they can cope with the challenges posed by Covid-19 and continue their businesses and employment to serve our residents in the heartlands."

He added that the move is in line with the Government's assistance schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry's forecast is for the Singapore economy to shrink by 4 per cent to 7 per cent this year, which would make it the country's worst downturn since independence in 1965.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, AHTC said that income from S&CC collections is essential for its continued operations, which include estate maintenance, intensified cleaning and disinfecting of common areas amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said it has already waived fees for late S&CC payments for both commercial and residential units from April to September, and automatically waived rental charges for outdoor display areas for shops that were closed during the circuit breaker period.

"AHTC is working on how it can provide further relief to commercial tenants and is consulting councillors on the matter," it said.

"We will get in touch with the tenants with details of the decision soon."