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Singapore Budget Debate: COEs, rail disruptions and cleaner vehicles
Transportation issues dominated Parliament on Wednesday, with the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) supply and recent rail disruptions coming up for discussion.
The government has no immediate plans to smoothen out future COE supply by holding back COEs, it emerged in Parliament. "If we reserve too few COEs, there will be no meaningful impact on supply smoothening," said Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo . "Too many and we risk having a shortfall of COEs to meet replacement demand and may inadvertently introduce even more volatility into premiums."
Where public transport was concerned, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew noted during the Committee of Supply debate that the recent spate of rail disruptions happened "despite the intensive efforts that LTA and the rail operators have put in over the last few years".
"While I can accept the occasional breakdown or even a more severe disruption if it occurs very rarely, I am most upset with the current situation in the last few weeks," Mr Lui said.
On the environmental front, the Early Turnover Scheme which encourages vehicle owners to replace their old and more pollutive diesel vehicles with cleaner models is set to be expanded so that it includes owners of Category C diesel vehicles with Euro II/III emissions standards. The enhanced scheme will run from Aug 1, 2015 to Jul 31, 2017, according to Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan. The scheme was introduced in April 2013 for Pre-Euro/Euro I Category C diesel vehicles.