SINGAPORE: A subsidy for dishwashing service will be extended to stallholders at the seven new hawker centres from next year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Friday (Nov 16).
Starting Jan 1, NEA will co-fund the cost of a centralised dishwashing service with stallholders at these hawker centres, at 50 per cent for the first year and 30 per cent for the second year, it said in a media release.
Currently, only stallholders at older hawker centres that have adopted a centralised dishwashing service get the subsidy under the Productive Hawker Centres programme.
Stallholders at the new hawker centres – Ci Yuan in Hougang, Bukit Panjang, Kampung Admiralty, Yishun Park, Jurong West, Pasir Ris Central and Hawker Centre @ Our Tampines Hub – do not get the grant. All seven have centralised dishwashing services.
NEA said the grant will help support these stallholders manage the cost of a centralised dishwashing service.
“In the past month, besides reviewing the contractual terms between operators and stallholders, NEA also conducted a review of the operating costs faced by stallholders at our new hawker centres. We recognise that these centres may need time to establish themselves and build up a clientele," said NEA chief executive Tan Meng Dui.
“Many of the costs faced by the stallholders, like service and conservancy charges and table cleaning fees, are ‘pass-through’ charges. We hope that by extending the Productive Hawker Centres grant for centralised dishwashing service to stallholders, this will help them to better manage their operating costs in the initial years as they start up their businesses, and help to sustain our hawker trade in the long term.”
Stallholders at three existing hawker centres that have adopted a centralised dishwashing service and an automated tray return system are currently receiving the grant, NEA said. These are the hawker centres at Marsiling Mall, Block 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 and Block 163 Bukit Merah Central.
NEA said having a centralised dishwashing service helps save on manpower and enhances the cleanliness of the hawker centre and the rate of table turnover.
“Stallholders can then focus on their cooking as they need not worry about hiring assistants to wash their crockeries, and can also save on their utility bills," it said.
READ: NETS appointed to handle transactions on unified e-payment platform at hawker centres, coffee shops
Stallholders at the seven hawker centres can also participate in an e-payment initiative between December 2018 and August 2020. Under this initiative, the transaction cost and rental of terminals will be waived for a period of three years upon sign up.
Twenty payment schemes are offered under the initiative, including CEPAS transport cards such as EZ-Link, concession cards and NETS FlashPay, as well as mobile payment apps.