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Hawkers irate over changes in tender system
Jun 08, 2012
by Cheryl Tay A group of 100 hawkers in Chinatown Complex (pictured) on Smith Street are unhappy that they have to pay more rent, even after the government set aside the minimum reserve price policy in a bid to lower high costs. Under the changes to the tender system, hawkers are allowed to bid for stalls at their preferred price, rather than having to match the previous amount set by the National Environment Agency (NEA). If a hawker is the sole bidder for a stall, he will need to go through a second exercise. "The recent policy changes of removing reserve rent and abolition of subletting and stall assignment, have led to downward pressure on rental rates," noted a spokesman for the NEA. The changes mean that tenants may pay vastly different prices for different stalls, even in the same hawker centre.