AHPETC says it is able to fulfil sinking fund obligations with grants

AHPETC says it is able to fulfil sinking fund obligations with grants
PHOTO: ST

SINGAPORE - The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) has released a statement opposing what they claimed Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam had said in Parliament on the AHPETC's management of its accounts.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of National Development (MND) said the town council misquoted Mr Tharman and had put forth a misleading claim.

"In a statement on its website on Aug 17, AHPETC stated that DPM Tharman had said that “even if the operating grant withheld by the Ministry of National Development (MND) for FY 14/15 is paid in its entirety into AHPETC’s Sinking Funds, it would not be sufficient to comply with AHPETC’s sinking fund obligations for the financial year."

AHPETC disagreed with this statement. MOF and MND had since issued a joint statement pointing out that AHPETC had misquoted DPM.

According to AHPETC, "despite the withholding of the annual operating grant for FY 14/15 from AHPETC since April 2014, AHPETC has, to date, fully made three quarterly transfers for FY 14/15, from its operating funds to sinking funds.

"The total transferred to date is $13.24 million.

"The total amount of monies to be transferred to Sinking Funds for FY 14/15 is $20.05 million.

"The balance left to be transferred to Sinking Funds would be $20.05 million less $13.24 million which equals to $6.81 million.

"According to the court papers filed by the MND in the High Court in March 2015, MND has withheld for FY 14/15 total operating grants of $7.2 million due to AHPETC.

"If MND accedes to AHPETC's request to deposit the entire grant amount of $7.2 million into AHPETC's Sinking Funds, AHPETC would more than fulfil its obligations to transfer Sinking Funds for FY 14/15."

Channel NewsAsia reported that on Sunday, AHPETC vice-chairman Png Eng Huat said the town council is working to close its accounts by the end of this month.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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