BUILDING & ENGINEERING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Fresh $1.36b support to be laid out for construction firms: BCA

This aims to support construction businesses and assist with cash flow.

A new $1.36b construction support package will be extended to firms in the construction sector to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19, and so that they can resume work quickly and safely, according to an announcement from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)

The authority said it has worked with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL), the Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore (STAS), and other trade associations to develop safe distancing measures specifically for the construction sector to minimise the risk of another outbreak among these workers.

In addition, the government will also provide additional funding to help construction companies offset the cost of these sectoral requirements.

A $525.8m construction restart booster will be made available to help construction firms, which have to incur additional compliance costs unique to the sector in order to resume works safely. This funding will co-share contractors’ costs in procuring additional material/equipment to comply with COVID-Safe Worksite requirements and will be given to construction projects.

Contractors are also required to deploy safe management officers (SMOs) to ensure that safe management measures are implemented at construction worksites. The government will set aside $48m to co-fund 50% of salaries of SMOs who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents for six months from September 2020 to February 2021.

Further, the Government Procurement Entities (GPEs) will co-share 50% of the prolongation costs capped at 1.8% of the contract sum for public sector construction contracts and tenders, adding up to $793m.

The government will also extend advance payment to firms working on public sector projects up to the point when the projects have obtained approval to restart, subject to a total advance payment cap of 5% of the project’s awarded contract sum or $10m, whichever is lower.

Aside from these, construction firms will also be eligible for Foreign Worker Levy rebates of $90 per month for each work permit holder, from August 2020 to December 2021.

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