The LegCo Reporter
Issue No. 23 (9 June 2005)

At its meeting on 8 June 2005, the Legislative Council passed the following two bills:

(1)Revenue (Allowances for Tax) Bill 2005.

(2)Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Bill 2004, with amendments proposed by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology at Committee Stage.

At the same meeting, the Council passed the following two motions with no legislative effect:

(1)Motion on "Labelling Scheme on Nutrition Information for pre-packaged food", moved by Dr Hon Joseph LEE Kok-long as amended by Hon WONG Yung-kan

"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)expeditiously conduct a feasibility study on the regulation of labelling of food for infants and pre-packaged food for people with special dietary needs;
(c)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;
(d)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;
(e)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
(f)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."

(2)Motion on "Actively improving the business environment for small and medium enterprises", moved by Hon Vincent FANG Kang as amended by Hon Fred LI Wah-ming and further amended by Hon CHAN Kam-lam

"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, and unfair competition even exists in some industries, such as the monopolies in energy supplies and operations in the form of bundled services, adversely affecting the development of small and medium enterprises particularly and posing 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, and to consider the feasibility of enacting legislation on fair competition on the premise of safeguarding Hong Kong's free economy system and enhancing its market competitiveness, with a view to achieving the objective of benefiting the people, facilitating businesses, and creating wealth together."