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Resumption of activity brings glimmer of hope to construction sector

Amala Balakrishner
Amala Balakrishner9/4/2020 07:00 AM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Resumption of activity brings glimmer of hope to construction sector
Economists say the resumption of construction activity, saying that the “baby steps” will help drive growth in the sector.
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Construction activity this year was expected to hit a high, with nominal output slated to increase between $30 billion and $32 billion, according to estimates by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in early January.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic grounded all construction activity as measures were undertaken to stem the spread of coronavirus infections among migrant workers who account for a significant proportion of the sector’s workforce. In 2Q2020, the construction sector’s contribution to GDP plunged 59.3% to an all-time low. About 42,000 workers also suffered pay cuts as part of cost-cutting measures, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a report on Aug 20.

To this end, the BCA has announced measures to hasten the resumption of on-site construction work, in a bid to revive the ailing sector. Under this, some 40,000 migrant workers will be allowed to resume work without needing a BCA approval. These workers were approved as they were deemed clear of the coronavirus, are not on stay-home notices and are staying in dormitories cleared of the virus. They must also have installed the TraceTogether app.

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