The Government has rolled out the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund (AEF) which includes, among others, enhancing support to the construction sector as well as offering subsidies to the non-profit-making organisations (NPOs) under several revitalisation schemes.
"The second round of the AEF will further set aside over $4.3 billion, to help construction workers and the construction-related enterprises, which cannot benefit from the first round of the AEF, tide over the economic hard time brought by the COVID-2019 pandemic. Under the first round measures, over $900 million has already been allocated to support the construction sector," a spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (April 20).
Under the second round measures of the AEF, a one-off subsidy of $7,500 will be offered to each eligible construction worker. More than 530 000 workers will benefit from the subsidy, who include workers of construction sites as well as workers registered under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Buildings Department, the Water Supplies Department and the Fire Services Department.
At the same time, the Government will provide a one-off subsidy to about 30 000 construction-related enterprises, generally small-scaled, which cannot benefit from the first round of the AEF. Eligible contractors, specialist contractors, works contractors and suppliers can receive a one-off subsidy of $20,000 each, while eligible minor works contractors, registered contractors of electrical / gas / lift / escalator / fire service installation and suppliers of construction-related machineries and equipment rental can receive $10,000 each.
The second round of the AEF will also provide training subsidies to the construction sector. About 600 consultant firms offering engineering / architectural and related professional services (including consultant firms in the Government's approved lists and small and medium enterprises consultants which are company members of professional institutions / associations) will receive a subsidy of $50,000 each to support professionals in the sector to pursue continuous development so as to maintain their professional expertise and qualification.
"With a view to simplifying the application process and to disbursing subsidies to construction workers swiftly, workers who have received subsidies under the first round of the AEF will receive the second-round subsidies without the need to make separate applications," the spokesman said.
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) will continue to handle applications and disburse subsidies for the Government. The CIC will announce other details shortly.
Separately, under the second round of the AEF, the Government will provide a direct subsidy of $3 million to each of the NPOs running the 10 projects under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, PMQ (revitalised from the Former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road), and the Energizing Kowloon East - Fly the Flyover Operation. The total subsidy involved is $36 million.
"The relevant subsidy can provide the NPOs with cash flow to meet their ongoing overhead operating costs including staff cost, utilities cost, maintenance cost, cleansing fees, security fees, etc., for their continued operation and safeguard the employment of their staff and workers during this difficult time as well as enabling the Government to continue promote its heritage conservation and Energizing Kowloon East initiatives," the spokesman said.
Ends/Monday, April 20, 2020
Issued at HKT 20:30