Council Meeting (Agenda) 8 June 2005


A 04/05-32

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 8 June 2005 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers
Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Application for New Identity Cards (Persons Born in 1974 to 1985) OrderL.N. 85/2005
2.Clubs (Safety of Premises) (Exclusion) (Amendment) Order 2005L.N. 86/2005
3.Declaration of Increase in Pensions Notice 2005L.N. 87/2005
4.Widows and Orphans Pension (Increase) Notice 2005L.N. 88/2005
5.Tax Reserve Certificates (Rate of Interest) (No. 4) Notice 2005L.N. 89/2005
6.Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 2005 (Commencement) NoticeL.N. 90/2005
7.Technical Memorandum for Supervision Plans 2005S. S. No. 5 to Gazette No. 22/2005

Other Papers

1.Report of the Bills Committee on Revenue (Allowances for Tax) Bill 2005
(to be presented by Hon CHAN Kam-lam, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

2.Report of the Bills Committee on Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2004
(to be presented by Hon Margaret NG, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon Albert Jinghan CHENG to ask: (Translation)

I notice that some private cars currently used by bureau secretaries concurrently carry licence plates for government vehicles and licence plates issued by the Mainland authorities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)these cars are government vehicles;

    (b)the purpose of putting licence plates issued by Mainland authorities on these cars is to facilitate the discharge of official duties in the Mainland by bureau secretaries; and

    (c)bureau secretaries are allowed to travel in these cars to the Mainland to attend to private business; if so, whether the Government incurs any liability for compensation when these cars are involved in traffic accidents in the Mainland?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

2. Hon CHAN Kam-lam to ask:
(Translation)

It has been Government's policy to encourage the public to renew their documents prior to the expiry dates to avoid crowding and inconvenience, and people who are late in renewing their documents are required to pay a surcharge as punishment. However, the renewal arrangements of certain documents have disguisedly shortened the valid periods of the renewed documents issued to those who complete the renewal procedures in advance. For example, the effective date of a renewed Closed Road Permit falls on the date of completion of the renewal procedures instead of the day following the expiry date of the old permit. On the other hand, after the implementation of the new arrangement for renewal of Closed Road Permits for cross-boundary vehicles by the Government last year, the completion of the procedure for permit renewal, which used to take four working days, has been shortened to the day of application. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the types of renewed permits or licences issued by the Transport Department, which become effective on the dates of completion of the renewal procedures;

    (b)whether it has assessed if the above effective date arrangement for document renewal is reasonable; if the assessment results reveal that the arrangement is unreasonable, whether the authorities will consider reviewing the existing administrative mechanism for applications and charges for permits, so as to dispense with the arrangement; if they will, of the details; if they will not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)of the types of renewed permits and licences issued by the Transport Department which are not issued on the day of application and the major reasons for that; the time currently taken to issue these permits and licences and whether the authorities will consider reviewing and simplifying the relevant procedures; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

3. For Hon CHEUNG Hok-ming, Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why it has not yet put forward a proposal on the public transport fare adjustment mechanism suggested by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works in 2003, which would allow fares to go up or down, the latest progress of the proposal and whether it will be aborted;

    (b)of the details of the discussions held with the public transport operators on the formula for calculating fares under the above mechanism and whether a consensus will be reached on the formula; and

    (c)in the event that the above mechanism cannot be introduced, of the measures to monitor public transport fares to ensure that they are reasonable and within the affordability of the public?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

4. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that following an amendment to its statutes by the Council of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ("HKPU") in April this year, staff who cannot work full-time in the HKPU for reason that they have taken up public offices will be regarded as part-time staff and will no longer be eligible to stand for membership of the Council. Nevertheless, staff will not be disqualified from standing for elections on grounds of taking up paid employment with private companies. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the public-funded tertiary institutions with similar provisions in their statutes, as well as those institutions whose governing bodies plan to incorporate similar provisions into their statutes;

    (b)whether guidelines have been issued to advise the governing bodies of tertiary institutions that, in accordance with the principles of fairness and transparency, they should provide all staff with opportunities to participate in the management of the institutions and prevent any staff from being deprived of their right to participate for reason that they have taken up public offices; if such guidelines have been issued, whether the authorities will follow up the above decision of the Council of the HKPU; if such guidelines have not been issued, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether guidelines have been issued to advise tertiary institutions that they should ask their staff to declare their paid employment with private companies, and make such information public, so as to facilitate monitoring by members of the institutions and the public; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

5. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask:


In compliance with Article 100 of the Basic Law, the former Chief Executive has pledged that the pay, allowances and benefits of civil servants will not be less favourable than that before the Reunification. On the other hand, the Basic Law also provides that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall strive to achieve a fiscal balance and avoid deficits. Moreover, civil service pay took up over 34% of the operating expenditure of the Government on average from 2000 to 2004 and pension payments amount to about $13 billion in 2004. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed if the over one-third of the Government's operating expenditure spent on civil service pay is at the expense of other public interests; if the assessment results reveal such a phenomenon, how the Administration will handle it; and

    (b)whether the Administration plans to review the pension system and amend the relevant laws, in order to put in place a pension adjustment mechanism which allows an increase on inflation and a reduction on deflation?
Public Officers to reply :Financial Secretary
Secretary for the Civil Service

6. Hon Mrs Selina CHOW to ask: (Translation)

As a lot of new arrivals live in Tin Shui Wai, Radio Television Hong Kong's Putonghua Channel is setting up an FM transmitting station in the area to improve the broadcasting quality there. The works are scheduled for completion early this month and residents of the area will then be able to tune in to the programmes of the Putonghua Channel at FM100.9 MHz. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council, given that there are many new arrivals living in the urban areas and other areas in the New Territories apart from Tin Shui Wai, whether the authorities will extend the FM Putonghua broadcasting service to these areas to meet the needs of these new arrivals; if not, the reasons for that; and whether they will conduct studies or consult the relevant organizations and persons, including the District Councils concerned, regarding the extension of such service? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

*7. Hon Martin LEE to ask:
(Translation)

In view of the recent grave public concern about the possible impact and harm caused by electronic wastes to the environment and public health, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the definition of electronic wastes; whether it has assessed if the existing legislation regulating the import/export and disposal of electronic wastes is adequate and effective; if it has, of the assessment results; if the existing legislation is assessed to be inadequate and ineffective, whether it will consider formulating a long term policy on the disposal of electronic wastes, amending the existing legislation to deal with its loopholes and inadequacy, and strengthening the co-ordination of the efforts of various law enforcement agencies; and

    (b)how obsolete computers in government departments were disposed of in the past, and whether any internal guidelines have been drawn up in this regard; if so, whether it has assessed if such guidelines comply with the principles of environmental protection; if it has, of the assessment results, and whether there is an independent body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the guidelines by government departments?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*8. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the emergency ambulance service ("EAS") of the Fire Services Department, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the number of times in the past year ambulances were deployed to provide cross-district EAS and, among them, the number of times ambulances failed to arrive at the addresses calling for ambulances within 12 minutes (i.e. target response time) of receiving emergency ambulance calls;

    (b)the short-term and long-term measures to relieve the shortage of ambulance crew, in addition to last year's recruitment of 28 ambulancemen to fill some of the vacancies; and

    (c)the measures to improve the response time of EAS?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*9. Hon WONG Ting-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that after the implementation of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA"), with the exception of the legal professionals of Hong Kong who have obtained certain assistance in establishing associated companies with the Mainland legal firms in the Mainland, the professionals of Hong Kong, such as the 300 persons currently engaged in the professions of engineering, architectural design and real estate valuation, cannot practise their professions or establish their firms in the Mainland even after obtaining professional qualifications therein. Moreover, the higher authorities of the Mainland professional bodies are State ministries or commissions whereas the professional bodies of Hong Kong are non-governmental organizations, which are not the most appropriate authorities to negotiate on the system and co-operation arrangements of mutual recognition of professional qualifications between Hong Kong and the Mainland. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the current situation of Hong Kong professional practising in the Mainland;

    (b)the main reasons for Hong Kong professionals not being able to practise in the Mainland after obtaining Mainland professional qualifications; and

    (c)the ways to support the professional bodies of Hong Kong in facilitating their negotiations with the Mainland on the system and co-operative arrangements of mutual recognition of professional qualifications, so that the proposition for Hong Kong to provide professional services in the Mainland through CEPA can be materialized?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

*10. Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki to ask:
(Translation)

The number of Mainland women (non-Hong Kong residents) giving birth in local public hospitals has surged and the amount of medical charges they have defaulted on is enormous. On the other hand, the authorities have proposed to introduce a minimum package fee of $20,000 for obstetric services in public hospitals, in order to address the problems that the existing charges of public hospitals are substantially lower than those of private hospitals and even below the Hospital Authority's own cost for obstetric services, and that the existing fee structure encourages non-eligible expectant mothers, including those from the Mainland, to deliberately minimize their length of stay in hospitals. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)if it knows the number of Mainland women (non-Hong Kong residents) who gave birth in local public hospitals over the past three years, its percentage in the total number of child-delivery in-patients, the types of identity documents held by such women (for instance, entry documentations such as Hong Kong Identity Card, One-way Permit, Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau (commonly known as "two-way exit permit") and that for travellers under the Individual Visit Scheme), the number of cases in which they defaulted on payment of medical charges and the amount involved, the percentage of such amount in the total amount of defaulted medical payment, as well as the number of cases in which the authorities succeeded in recovering the outstanding medical charges and the amount involved, broken down by individual hospitals;

    (b)how the authorities calculated the cost to be recovered when determining the proposed fee of $20,000; whether they have taken into account the costs relating to the additional health care personnel required in the hospitals for the provision of such services, the extra medical services arising from the emergency medical consultations sought by expectant mothers from the Mainland who tried to minimize their length of stay in hospitals, and the medical incidents during delivery; and

    (c)whether it will consider strengthening the co-operation with the Central Government on deterring Mainland women from coming to Hong Kong for giving birth; as well as the reasons for the Hong Kong authorities not establishing an inter-bureau working group to jointly examine various feasible measures and iron out the possible legal issues involved, thereby formulating effective and lawful measures to resolve the problems caused by such women coming to Hong Kong for child birth?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*11. Hon LEE Wing-tat to ask:
(Translation)

Article 50 of the Basic Law stipulates that if the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region refuses to sign a bill passed the second time by the Legislative Council, or the Legislative Council refuses to pass a budget or any other important bill introduced by the Government, and if consensus still cannot be reached after consultations, the Chief Executive may dissolve the Legislative Council. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the bills referred to as "any other important bill" in the above article, and how "important bill" is defined;

    (b)the procedure and the parties involved in the "consultations" referred to in the above article; and

    (c)the procedure that the Chief Executive is required to follow for dissolving the Legislative Council, and whether the Chief Executive is only required to publish a notice of such a decision in the Gazette?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

*12. Dr Hon Fernando CHEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

On 1 January 2001, the Social Welfare Department ("SWD") launched the Lump Sum Grant Subvention Arrangement ("LSGS Arrangement") for providing financial assistance to non-governmental organisations ("NGOs"). It also provides tide-over grants to NGOs to enable them to continue to fulfil their contractual obligations to existing staff during the five-year transition period. The Administration also established a Lump Sum Grant Steering Committee to handle complaints from NGO staff. Recently, I have received many complaints from social workers against SWD's failure to properly handle complaints from staff whose remuneration has been cut. Moreover, the Steering Committee has no authority to order NGOs to send representatives to attend its hearings or rectify acts that contravene the principles of the LSGS Arrangement. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following:
    (a)since the implementation of the LSGS Arrangement,

    (i)the number of complaints the SWD has received concerning NGO staff whose remuneration has been cut, with a breakdown by contents of the complaints;

    (ii)the number of complaints in which the SWD has directly intervened, and the way the SWD has handled the cases; and

    (iii)the number of complaints the SWD has referred to the Steering Committee, the number of hearings the Steering Committee has held for the referrals, and the number of cases in which the Steering Committee ruled that the NGOs concerned had contravened the principles of the LSGS Arrangement; and

    (b)the penalties the SWD may impose on NGOs which have contravened the principles of the LSGS Arrangement, and whether the SWD has assessed the deterrent effects of such penalties, and whether the SWD will step up the enforcement of the penalties?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*13. Hon Albert CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

The Consumer Legal Action Fund was set up in 1994 to give consumer access to legal remedies by providing financial support and legal assistance. However, I have recently received complaints from many members of the public, alleging that the Consumer Council has rarely used the Fund. As such, many flat owners who find themselves misled by property developers in such matters as completion dates, quality and prices of the flats, the number of flats sold, facilities available, visual quality of the environment, club-house services and availability of residents' bus services, etc, have difficulty in applying for financial assistance under the Fund to institute legal actions against the developers concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the number of successful applications for financial assistance under the Fund and the total amount of assistance granted each year since its establishment; and

    (b)if the Consumer Council has considered using the Fund to institute legal actions against the property developers who have misled consumers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

*14. Hon Frederick FUNG to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that an overseas study has proved that small class teaching is more effective for pupils of lower social and economic status. The Secretary for Education and Manpower recently stated in public that he intended to implement small class teaching in primary schools with more poor pupils, so as to support the Government's policy of helping the poor. Moreover, he also suggested expanding the small class teaching scheme. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the criteria for identifying the schools with more poor pupils; when such schools will be invited to participate in the small class teaching scheme and the number of schools involved, and how the authorities avoid adverse labelling of poor pupils from the schools which have been invited to participate;

    (b)of the difference between the small class teaching scheme to be implemented in schools with more poor pupils and the existing similar scheme, and how it will assess the effectiveness of the scheme in helping poor pupils to get rid of poverty;

    (c)of the details of the findings of the above overseas study; whether the scope of the study covered the differences in learning among pupils of different social strata and how small class teaching might help poor pupils to get rid of poverty; and

    (d)whether the reasons for the authorities' suggestion to expand the small class teaching scheme include their endorsement of small class teaching; if so, whether they will expeditiously implement small class teaching across the board?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*15. Hon CHOY So-yuk to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the Directives on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, which will be implemented by the European Union ("EU") in August this year and in July next year respectively, separately require producers importing electronic and electrical products to finance recovery of electronic waste, and banning the use of six specified hazardous substances (including lead, mercury and cadmium etc) in these products. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the amount of electronic and electrical products dumped into local landfills in each of the past three years, broken down by the product classification specified in the above directives; and

    (b)whether it will follow the example of EU by implementing similar directives in Hong Kong through legislation, thereby reducing the amount of disposed electronic and electrical products dumped in Hong Kong and promoting the recycling of such products, as well as ensuring that the producers concerned will use environmentally-friendly materials; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*16. Ir Dr Hon HO Chung-tai to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the 14 parking meters in a public carpark near Wu Shan Road cargo pier have for a long time been illegally occupied by some green minibuses with bus stands in the vicinity. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how long the above problem has existed, and the details of the measures taken by the authorities to deal with the problem;

    (b)of the reasons for the illegal occupation of these parking meters by the minibuses, and the total public revenue foregone in the past year due to the illegal occupation of the parking meters; and

    (c)of the measures to be adopted to resolve the problem?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*17. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask:
(Translation)

Recently, a visitor from the Mainland holding an Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao was convicted of working as a taxi driver illegally, and there were cases in which compensation payments for employees' deaths and injuries sustained at work were paid out from the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund to illegal workers or their families. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider setting up a task group to comprehensively review all the labour legislation, with a view to plugging any loopholes and removing any grey areas, thereby combating Mainland visitors' taking up illegal employment in Hong Kong; if not, of the reasons for that? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

*18. Hon SIN Chung-kai to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the vehicle location technology ("VLT") adopted for the Third Generation Communication and Mobilising System in the Fire Services Communication Centre, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has studied the feasibility of adopting similar location technology for the vehicle fleets of other government departments, so as to improve the efficiency of vehicle deployment; if it has, of the details of the study, the expenditure involved in the introduction of such technology, and whether it will transfer the technology adopted by the Fire Services Department ("FSD") to save development costs; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether it will open the associated infrastructure and technology of VLT to the private sector to promote the use of VLT in Hong Kong; if it will, of the relevant details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)of the interoperability between the said system of FSD and the Vehicle Location System of the Third Generation Command and Control Communications System currently used by the Hong Kong Police Force; whether any mechanism is in place to coordinate the deployment of relevant resources between the two departments for joint rescue operations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*19. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

In the Second Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force, the authorities pointed out that "to resolve the problems of governance, one critical factor is the experience and calibre of political talent". In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the measures taken in the past three years to encourage the public to take part in political affairs;

    (b)of the measures taken in the past three years to groom political talents and enhance their governance experience and calibre, as well as the effectiveness of such measures; and

    (c)whether they will introduce new measures to groom political talents so as to facilitate constitutional development and the election of the Chief Executive and all Members of this Council by universal suffrage; if so, of the details of such measures and their implementation dates; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

*20. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding complaints about public hospitals' health care services, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the number of complaints received by the relevant authorities in each of the past three years, together with a breakdown by public hospitals and the types of services involved (such as general out-patient, specialist out-patient and in-patient services, etc);

    (b)if the number of complaints against public hospitals has been on the rise over the past three years; if so, of the impact of this trend on the operation of public hospitals;

    (c)the respective amounts of compensation paid and litigation costs borne by the Hospital Authority ("HA") last year in respect of medical malpractice claims, as well as the administrative costs incurred for processing such claims; and

    (d)if it has assessed the implications of HA's resources reduction in recent years on the number and nature of complaints against public hospitals?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*For written reply.

III. Bills

First Reading


Supplementary Appropriation (2004-2005) Bill

Second Reading (Debate to be adjourned)

Supplementary Appropriation (2004-2005) Bill:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Second Reading (Debates to resume), Committee Stage and Third Reading

1.Revenue (Allowances for Tax) Bill 2005:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

2.Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2004:Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

IV. Members' Motions
  1. Labelling Scheme on Nutrition Information for pre-packaged food

    Dr Hon Joseph LEE Kok-long: (Translation)

    That, as the Government's proposal to legislate on the Labelling Scheme on Nutrition Information for pre-packaged food by phases fails to effectively assist the public and people with chronic diseases in properly obtaining food nutrition information, and also fails to fully consider and assess the impact on and the disruption to the industry after enactment of the legislation, this Council urges the Government to:

    (a)expedite the legislation on a mandatory labelling scheme, and allow a grace period of three years after enactment of the legislation for full implementation of the "1+9" option, which covers energy and nine core nutrients, in one go;

    (b)work out a long-term plan and timetable for bringing into the regulatory ambit another four nutrients which have a bearing on the level of healthiness, namely potassium, monounsaturated fatty acid, trans fatty acid and soluble fibre;

    (c)formulate concrete proposals and guidelines to provide targeted technical support and ancillary facilities to small and medium enterprises engaging in the relevant food businesses, so as to assist the industry in achieving a successful transition;

    (d)establish an ad hoc group to draw up concrete proposals and an implementation timetable to help promote and educate the public on the importance of a nutrition information labelling scheme and the ways to comprehend the labels, as well as to co-ordinate professional bodies and voluntary organizations in the provision of relevant consultation and education services to the public; and

    (e)set up a nutrition information analysis database that is applicable to Hong Kong, so as to address the difficulties encountered by the public, the industry and stakeholders in gathering, comprehending and analyzing nutrition information.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Vincent FANG Kang: (Translation)

    To delete "effectively assist the public and people with chronic diseases in properly obtaining food nutrition information, and also fails to fully consider and assess" after "phases fails to" and substitute with "take into full account"; to add "consumers and" after "the disruption to"; to delete "expedite the legislation on a mandatory labelling scheme, and allow a grace period of three years after enactment of the legislation for full implementation of the '1+9' option, which covers energy and nine core nutrients, in one go" after "(a)" and substitute with "in introducing the nutrition labelling scheme, set an appropriate grace period for implementation of the '1+5' option, i.e. energy plus five core nutrients, namely protein, carbohydrate, total fat, saturated fat and sodium"; to delete "work out" after "(b)" and substitute with "conduct a comprehensive review after completing the implementation of the first phase of the above nutrition labelling scheme, and study the formulation of"; to delete "which have a bearing on the level of healthiness, namely potassium, monounsaturated fatty acid, trans fatty acid and soluble fibre" after "another four nutrients" and substitute with ", namely cholesterol, sugars, dietary fibre and calcium"; to delete "establish an ad hoc group" after "(d)" and substitute with "consult the public and the industry extensively"; to delete "to help promote and educate the public" after "implementation timetable" and substitute with ", and enhance publicity and promotional efforts as well as public education"; and to delete "as well as to co-ordinate professional bodies and voluntary organizations in the provision of relevant consultation and education services to the public" after "comprehend the labels," and substitute with "so as to enable consumers to make informed choices".

    (ii)Hon WONG Yung-kan: (Translation)

    To add "(b) expeditiously conduct a feasibility study on the regulation of labelling of food for infants and pre-packaged food for people with special dietary needs;" after "in one go;"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(c)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

  2. Actively improving the business environment for small and medium enterprises

    Hon Vincent FANG Kang: (Translation)

    That, although the Government has all along followed the policy of positive non-intervention in economic development, the laws, policies and measures implemented by the Government in recent years have however created hurdles and restrictions in the business environment which adversely affect the small and medium enterprises particularly and pose serious threats to the reviving employment market; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to immediately review all the laws and regulations as well as administrative measures that are detrimental to the business environment and, in the light of the outcomes of the relevant reviews, adopt policies and measures that are conducive to socio-economic development, with a view to achieving the objective of benefiting the people, facilitating businesses, and creating wealth together.

    Amendment to motion
    Hon Fred LI:
    (Translation)

    To delete "which adversely affect the" after "restriction in business environment" and substitute with "and, so far, the Government has not introduced a comprehensive fair competition law, resulting in unfair competition in the market, such as the monopolies in energy supplies and operations in the form of bundled services, adversely affecting the development of"; to delete "pose" after "particularly and" and substitute with "posing"; to add "and to consider introducing a comprehensive fair competition law" after "socio-economic development,"; and to add "safeguarding the principle of fair competition on which Hong Kong's previous successes relied, and" after "with a view to".

    Amendment to Hon Fred LI's amendment
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam:
    (Translation)

    To delete "and, so far, the Government has not introduced a comprehensive fair competition law, resulting in unfair competition in the market" after "restrictions in the business environment" and substitute with ", and unfair competition even exists in some industries"; to delete "introducing a comprehensive" after "and to consider" and substitute with "the feasibility of enacting legislation on"; to delete "law" after "fair competition" and substitute with "on the premise of safeguarding Hong Kong's free economy system and enhancing its market competitiveness,"; and to delete "safeguarding the principle of fair competition on which Hong Kong's previous successes relied, and" after "with a view to".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

Clerk to the Legislative Council