More estates will get a makeover and new walkways will be built across Singapore, as the Government seeks to give a fillip to the beleaguered construction industry.

It is bringing forward $700 million worth of public amenities projects over the next two years.

This is on top of another $700 million in contracts it had announced in February. They included upgrading works for community centres, sports halls and police stations.

The contracts are generally worth $100 million or less each - jobs that will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Speaking at the Singapore Contractors Association Limited's (Scal) 80th anniversary dinner, he said the Government is aware of the challenges the construction sector faces.

The sector has seen four consecutive quarters of contraction due to a drop in private-sector demand, even amid pressure to move away from relying on cheap foreign labour and instead invest in costly technology.

Mr Wong said: "We hope these projects will help the industry as a whole. We will continue to monitor the industry closely and adjust the pace of public-sector projects if necessary."

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