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Thread: List of deferred projects being brought forward to be ready by early 2009: Mah

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    Default List of deferred projects being brought forward to be ready by early 2009: Mah

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...09911,00.html?

    Published December 13, 2008

    List of deferred projects being brought forward to be ready by early 2009: Mah

    By UMA SHANKARI


    THE government could bring forward some of the $4.7 billion worth of public sector projects put on hold earlier, as well as push forward some other projects by the various ministries, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan said yesterday. A list of projects to be brought forward as well as their total value will be released by early next year, and could be unveiled during the Budget, he said.

    'We're in the process of looking at these projects and seeing how we can bring forward some of these deferred projects. This is an exercise that is ongoing at the moment,' said Mr Mah yesterday during an HDB event.

    The various ministries are also looking at bringing forward some of their projects, he said.

    For HDB and the Ministry of National Development (MND), programmes such as lift upgrading, Home Improvement and Neighbourhood Renewal programmes will also be considered, Mr Mah said.

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    http://www.straitstimes.com/Prime%2B...ry_313841.html

    December 13, 2008 Saturday

    Projects on hold may be revived

    Some smaller public building works could go ahead to spur economy

    By Jessica Cheam


    THE growing downturn has prompted the Government to consider bringing forward some of the $4.7 billion worth of deferred construction projects in a bid to boost the economy.

    It will likely approve some moderate-size developments as a way of helping smaller firms get through the slump, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday.

    'We're in the process of re-looking at these projects and seeing how we can bring forward some of these deferred projects. This is an exercise that's ongoing at the moment,' he said on the sidelines of an HDB event.

    Details of what projects could be brought forward will be released early next year, hopefully before the Budget, said Mr Mah.

    The Singapore Contractors Association's president Desmond Hill backed the move: 'For now, the sizeable projects are still keeping the medium to large contractors busy. For small contractors, business might have died out, so this is welcome.'

    Public building works worth about $4.7 billion were deferred in three separate announcements over the past year due to soaring construction costs and a manpower crunch brought about by a building boom. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said previously that the projects ranged in value from $10 million to $400 million each.

    They included the Jurong General Hospital, the National Art Gallery, the National Addiction Management Centre, the Communicable Disease Centre and an extension of Changi Prison.

    Extensions for the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Peranakan Museum, worth about $67 million, were also rescheduled. These jobs could make a comeback as they are relatively small.

    Mr Mah said that 'where the costs have come down, and projects are a reasonable size, the important thing is to give priority to smaller projects so our smaller local contractors are able to benefit'.

    Ministries and statutory boards are also looking to bring forward some developments to take advantage of the potentially lower building costs, he added.

    The HDB and National Development Ministry could consider starting work like lift upgrading, as well as the Home Improvement and Neighbourhood Renewal programmes.

    Estates such as Yishun, Tampines and Hougang have been selected for work under HDB's revised upgrading schemes.

    'Not all of these projects can be brought forward totally, because some of the projects are very large and some of the costs may not have come down sufficiently,' said Mr Mah.

    Mr Hill told The Straits Times he hoped that, in the longer term, the larger deferred public projects will be started by 2010, as existing jobs will have been completed.

    But he also flagged another concern facing builders - hard-to-get credit.

    'Some contractors surveyed have found it increasingly hard to get financing for new jobs,' he said.

    Perhaps plans can be ironed out with the banks to help contractors through this period of tight credit, he added.

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    Default HDB brings forward some projects to help smaller contractors

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...395934/1/.html

    HDB brings forward some projects to help smaller contractors

    By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 12 December 2008 1950 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Two public housing upgrading programmes will be brought forward with other government projects in efforts to increase spending and stimulate the Singapore economy.

    Singapore previously deferred S$4.7 billion worth of public sector projects due to high construction costs.

    The Ministry of National Development said now is a good time to do so with material costs looking to fall further.

    Residents in older public housing can also expect refurbishments sooner.

    At the launch of two urban design events on Friday, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is bringing forward plans for its Home Improvement Programme.

    This is one of several ways the government is stimulating the economy.

    Under the plan, residents will get items like new doors, gates and toilet-fittings installed for free.

    Another HDB project to be brought forward is the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme. This will spruce up the environment around older housing estates like upgrading lift landings and letter boxes.

    Mr Mah said: “The primary consideration is to bring back those projects where we're able to help some of the smaller contractors. In other words, some of the smaller projects. In addition to that, we're also looking to see whether the different ministries are able to bring some of their projects, to take advantage of the potentially lower costs of construction, going forward."

    The move has been welcomed by the Singapore Contractors' Association.

    As to which government projects will be brought forward, Mr Mah said the details are expected by January when the government announces the 2009 Budget.

    Mr Mah added: "Not all of these projects can be brought forward totally because some of the projects are very lumpy projects and some their costs may not have come down sufficiently. But where the costs have come down and where the projects are of a reasonable size, the important thing is to give priority to the smaller projects.

    Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Forecast said the latest move will prevent smaller contractors from closing down, give jobs to construction workers and ensure consumption.

    Even though it can counter the slowdown in the property market, he said the plan will just minimise the recession in Singapore and not stop it completely.

    However, Mr Varathan cautioned against the assumption that construction costs will fall further. He said while it's not likely to increase to rates during the construction boom, regional demand for big projects from countries like China and India may cause prices to rebound again.

    Recession aside, Punggol residents can look forward to having a waterfront town of the 21st century.

    This winning design was picked from 11 entries in a waterway landscape competition.

    Mr Mah said Punggol's development is on track despite the poor economy with 17,000 flats completed and 3,000 new ones expected annually till 2011.

    The National Development Minister said the target is to have 23,000 flats by 2011, a critical mass for a Town Centre to be built and commercial developers to set up shopping malls.

    He added that flats there will be affordable for all income groups with smaller and rental flats for the lower-income.

    Of the 5,000 Build-to-Order flats launched, about 550 are two-room and three-room units and about 500 rental units are already under construction. -CNA/vm

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