MND Agrees to Release S$12.9 Million in Grants to AHTC

The Ministry of National Development has announced it will disburse S$12.9 million in Service and Conservancy Charges operating grants for FY 2014/15 and FY 2015/16 to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.

It will also release S$1.8 million to Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council – parts of which comprised the “Punggol East” estate from the former AHPETC.

The announcement comes a day ahead of the deadline for which the Workers’ Party had promised to make its remaining sinking funds transfer.

Town councils must fulfil sinking fund obligations for S&CC operating grants to be released.

The MND had earlier withheld the grants from AHPETC, due to lapses flagged in a report by the Auditor-General’s Office in February last year.

The MND had requested that independent accountants were appointed to audit its books, and that conditions such as setting up segregated bank accounts to receive the grants and getting accountants to co-authorise and co-sign large payments out of these accounts were put in place.

It said in a statement:

“AHTC has since appointed KPMG LLP as its accountant and confirmed that it fully accepts all conditions set by MND in relation to the grants. With these safeguards in place, MND will be disbursing the grants to AHTC.”

The lapses and subsequent furore were blamed for WP’s poorer showing in Aljunied GRC in GE2015.

Some residents were worried that they might experience lower living standards because of the withholding of the grant money, while others said they lost confidence in the WP’s ability to manage a town council.

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