The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) announced today that, as of yesterday (28 October 2020), over HK$1.1 billion of subsidies had been granted under the “Anti-epidemic Support Scheme for Property Management Sector” (ASPM) (including Phase I (for private residential and commercial cum residential buildings), Phase II (for private industrial and commercial buildings), and the “Enhanced ASPM” (whereby the subsidy period was extended and the cap on headcounts of the subsidy for frontline property management (PM) workers per eligible property was relaxed).
Mr Tony TSE, the PMSA Chairperson said, “Over $1.1 billion subsidies have been granted, benefiting nearly 40,000 building blocks and more than 160,000 frontline PM workers.”
Chairperson TSE added, “The amount of funding disbursed since the ASPM was launched in March this year has exceeded the Government’s original forecast of $1 billion, reflecting the industry’s strong demand for the financial relief. The PMSA has carried out the vetting work through lenient, expeditious and simple procedures so as to disburse the subsidies to eligible properties and frontline PM workers for their early benefit.”
While the process on vetting the applications and release of subsidies has been largely completed, the PMSA has started the follow-up work including the conduct of random audit review so as to ensure that the subsidies granted are properly disbursed to frontline workers. Applicants with subsidies granted are reminded to complete the PMSA’s specified form “Disbursement Report of Anti-epidemic Hardship Allowance” as soon as possible and keep proper record about the recipients of the subsidies. The disbursement reports are required to be submitted to the PMSA for review and audit purposes.
Chairperson TSE further added, “In order to ensure that the frontline PM workers have received the “Anti-epidemic Hardship Allowance”, the PMSA has taken follow-up actions, including randomly selecting beneficiary building blocks for conducting on-site checking, and reviewing records of relevant documents (including the receipts signed by the beneficiary frontline PM workers upon receiving the subsidies), as well as interviewing the beneficiary frontline PM workers.
Applicants who knowingly or willfully make any false statement or withhold any information or mislead the PMSA for the purpose of obtaining payment under the ASPM, or otherwise dishonestly obtain any pecuniary advantage by deception, if found upon investigation, will be liable for prosecution.
To enhance the transparency of the funding process and operation of the ASPM, the PMSA has so far issued 11 press releases on updates of the ASPM so as to keep the public well-informed about the work progress. “List of Subsidised Properties” and latest information on the ASPM are also made available at the designated website of the ASPM “https://aspm.pmsahk.org.hk/?lang=en” and “https://aspm2.pmsahk.org.hk/?lang=en”. In addition, a summary on the work progress regarding the implementation of the ASPM has been provided via the ASPM telephone hotline and email account for enquiries to enhance the understanding of those making enquiries about the lastest position of the ASPM before they decide whether they have to make further enquiries.
Ends/Thursday, 29 October 2020
Issued at HKT 19:00