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Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan:
To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources whether NEA can
lower the cost burden passed to hawker centre tenants and stallholders such as
that in the implementation of one-stop payment terminals, electronic cashless
payments, tray returns, dishwashing, and general cleaning.
primary objective of hawker centres is to provide hygienic and affordable food.
The Government has invested in helping stallholders make a decent living and preparing
them for future challenges, such as increased manpower shortage and rising labour costs.
The implementation of centre-level productivity initiatives, such as
Centralised Dishwashing and Automated Tray Return Systems, will enhance
productivity in our hawker centres. It will also reduce the hawkers’ workload
while addressing their manpower constraints. As labour costs are expected to
increase in future, the productivity savings from these initiatives will
translate into cost savings for the stallholders.
To help lower the initial cost burden, the Government is co-funding up to 70%
of the operating costs of these initiatives for two years. This has been
well-received in the hawker centres which have come on board our Productive
Hawker Centres initiative, where more than 90% of the stallholders have adopted
Centralised Dishwashing services. With these services, stallholders no longer
need to collect and wash crockery or employ someone to do so. Stallholders also
do not have to buy their own crockery as these are provided by the Centralised Dishwashing
October last year, NEA launched the Hawkers’ Productivity Grant that provides
funding support for the purchase of kitchen automation equipment. This also helps to increase our hawkers’
productivity and reduce their workload. Stallholders can
claim 80% of the qualifying cost of the equipment on a reimbursement basis, up
to a total of $5,000 within a three-year time frame. NEA has approved some 120
applications since the launch. In the same vein, the Government requested a Call-for-Collaboration
(CFC) for the provision of e-payment solutions for food businesses in April
2018. This will reduce the costs to hawkers who wish to adopt the option of electronic
cashless payments to increase productivity.
For cleaning, NEA adopts procurement best practices to maximise value for
money. These include open tenders to facilitate price competition, and
demand-aggregation to bring down unit costs. NEA also adopts a price-quality
model which balances between costs and service standards to stall-holders.
We will continue to monitor the costs to stallholders closely and, where
necessary, review the measures to help our stallholders better manage their business
Last updated: 11 Sep 2018
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