THE government is considering having managers run four existing hawker centres on a not-for-profit basis in the first such move here.
The four centres are in Block 117 Aljunied Avenue 2, Block 20 Ghim Moh Road, Block 503 West Coast Drive and Block 207 New Upper Changi Road, which will be replaced by a nearby centre at Block 208B.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a Request for Information (RFI) on government procurement website Gebiz that long-term leases for stalls in these four centres will expire in May.
The NEA wants organisations to submit proposals to manage these centres on a not-for-profit basis after the leases expire, in line with the 2012 recommendations of a government-appointed panel on new hawker centres.
Any operating surplus generated by a hawker centre must be shared among its stakeholders such as the stallholders, the manager and the NEA, used to create “social benefits” and cannot go to the manager’s shareholders.
The agency said managers must ensure availability of affordable and hygienic food, employment opportunities for Singaporeans and permanent residents, and “community space for interaction and bonding”.
In a first, these managers can also choose to take over the town councils’ duties for the centres.
The NEA said this will allow them to “achieve economies of scale in the centre’s upkeep and gain greater control of the hawker centre”. The proposal deadline is Jan 29. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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