Council Meeting (Agenda) 24 January 2007


A 06/07-16

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 24 January 2007 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers
Subsidiary Legislation / Instruments L.N. No.
Official Languages (Alteration of Text under Section 4D) (References to Citation of Various Items of Legislation in Chinese) Order7/2007

II. Questions

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

Regarding operation of the Hong Kong Wetland Park ("HKWP") since its opening in May 2006, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective monthly attendance of HKWP since its opening; how these figures compare to the original forecasts; and whether the HKWP authority can cope with the above attendance in terms of venue management and crowd control;

    (b)whether it has systematically sought visitors' views on HKWP; if it has, of their overall comments; and

    (c)given that there were complaints during the initial period following HKWP's opening that some visitors smoked in the open area of HKWP and left behind cigarette butts, whether the situation has improved so far; and of the measures adopted by the HKWP authority to comply with the no-smoking requirements of the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2006, which has come into operation since 1 January 2007?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

2. Hon Miriam LAU to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding inaccurate measurement of a fuel dispenser at a fuel station and the enforcement of the Weights and Measures Ordinance, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Customs and Excise ("C&E") Department has taken the initiative to conduct spot checks on fuel dispensers at various fuel stations in Hong Kong in the past three years so as to ensure the accuracy of fuel dispensers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the authorities will specify clearly the maximum permitted margin of error for fuel dispensers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the C&E Department takes the initiative to inspect and check the accuracy of the weighing or measuring equipment used in various trades, so as to safeguard the rights and interests of consumers; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

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

On 31 December last year, community groups in Hong Kong and Taiwan jointly organized a video forum entitled "New challenges to the development of democracy in Taiwan and Hong Kong". On the same day, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government ("SAR Government") made a statement that the "constitutional development concerns the affairs of the HKSAR under 'One Country, Two Systems', and is a matter for the Central Authorities and the HKSAR to deal with in accordance with the Basic Law; those in Taiwan have no role in this". Also, the Xinhua News Agency reported on the next day that officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("the Liaison Office") had criticized the authorities of Taiwan for "colluding with certain political organizations in Hong Kong and sowing discord between the compatriots of Hong Kong and the Central Government". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the basis for the criticism made by the officials of the Liaison Office that the authorities of Taiwan are colluding with certain political organizations in Hong Kong; if so, of the details;

    (b)the SAR Government disallows any organization or individual from Taiwan to comment on Hong Kong's constitutional development; and

    (c)it has assessed the consequences of the SAR Government making the above statement, including whether a shadow of official interference will be cast over normal academic exchanges between community groups in Taiwan and Hong Kong; if an assessment has been made, of the results?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

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

The Housing Authority is putting up surplus Home Ownership Scheme ("HOS") flats for sale in phases. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the maintenance costs in aggregate so far incurred for each of the HOS courts involved;

    (b)the pre-sale defect rectification and maintenance works carried out for the HOS flats put up for sale earlier this month under Phase 1 of 2007, with a breakdown by HOS court of the total expenditure on each type of works and the average costs of such works per flat; and

    (c)the defect rectification and maintenance works being undertaken and to be undertaken, the cost estimates as well as the anticipated completion dates for such works in respect of each HOS court to be sold in the future?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

5. Hon Frederick FUNG to ask:
(Translation)

Early last year, the Government conducted the Stage II Consultation on the future development of the electricity market in Hong Kong after the expiry of the Scheme of Control Agreements in 2008. It has been reported that the two power companies consider the recommendations in the consultation paper unacceptable. Moreover, in reply to my related question in March last year, the Government stated that it would start discussion with the two power companies later in 2006. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the latest progress of the discussions with the two power companies and the difficulties encountered; the consensus reached so far on the regulatory regime, permitted rate of return, tariff setting mechanism, emission reduction targets, the use of renewable energy to generate electricity, etc, and how they compare with the recommendations in the consultation paper;

    (b)given that the Administration has no plan to conduct further extensive public consultation on the specific regulatory arrangements for the post-2008 electricity market, how it ensures that the agreements reached in the future with the two power companies have fully taken into account the interests of the public and will receive widespread public support; and

    (c)whether it has drawn up contingency plans to cater for the various possible outcomes of the aforesaid discussions (including a breakdown of the negotiations leading to no new agreement); if it has, of the details of the plan, and whether the contingency plans includes the control, takeover or acquisition of the electricity generation and supply systems of the two power companies; if it has not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

6. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

It is learnt that members of the public spend more than 70% of their time in indoor environment and good indoor air quality ("IAQ") can safeguard the health of people in such environment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has evaluated the effectiveness of the IAQ Certification Scheme for Offices and Public Places (including the number of buildings awarded with an IAQ certificate in each of the past three years and its percentage in the total number of buildings in Hong Kong); if it has, of the findings of the evaluation; and

    (b)whether it has reviewed if it should require premises with poorer IAQ, such as clinics and temples, to carry out regular assessment to safeguard the health of people in such premises; if it has, of the details of the review; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*7. Hon CHAN Yuen-han to ask:
(Translation)

Last June, Taipei was honoured as the 2006 Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum. Later, the city was also certified by JiWire, an international agency, as the world's largest Wi-Fi network city. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it is aware of the Asian cities in which a free territory-wide Wi-Fi network has been established by the government concerned; and

    (b)it plans to promote the construction of a territory-wide Wi-Fi network; if it has, of the progress of the promotion efforts; if not, whether it will conduct a study on this issue; if it will not conduct such a study, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

*8. Hon LAU Wong-fat to ask:
(Translation)

As there have been incessant criticisms about a lack of leisure and cultural services ("LCS") facilities in the rural areas of the New Territories, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the existing LCS facilities in the rural areas of the New Territories, as well as those under construction and those under planning by the Government in those areas, broken down by the respective areas of the 27 Rural Committees; and

    (b)given that the Administration stated in November last year that it would continue to explore whether or not to adopt the public-private-partnership approach for implementing community works projects, whether the authorities have any plans to use this approach for providing more LCS facilities in the rural areas of the New Territories; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*9. Hon MA Lik to ask:
(Translation)

The Government is constructing an EcoPark with the aim to promote the local recycling industry and jump-start a circular economy. According to the target set by the Government earlier, the lots in Phase I of EcoPark would be made available for occupation by tenants in the end of 2006. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the details of the criteria for selecting tenants of EcoPark;

    (b)as the Government has pointed out that one of the benefits provided by EcoPark to local recyling and environmental industries is the "prestige associated with business based in EcoPark", whether the Government has any measures in place to build up such prestige; if it has, of the details of the measures; if not, how such prestige can be built up; and

    (c)whether it has drawn up any mechanism for reviewing the effectiveness of EcoPark from time to time and the criteria on the basis of which such reviews are to be conducted?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*10. Hon Bernard CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

A number of submarine cables were damaged by a severe earthquake which occurred in Luzon Strait on the 26th of last month. External telecommunications services in Hong Kong (including IDD calls, roaming calls and Internet access to overseas web sites) were seriously affected for several days following the earthquake. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has estimated the economic losses caused to Hong Kong by this incident; and

    (b)it will request the telecommunications service operators concerned to install more backup external telecommunications routings, so as to reduce the impact on external telecommunications services in the event of natural disasters or accidents?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

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

While a number of international exhibitions were held in Hong Kong in recent years, places such as Singapore, Taiwan and Macao have been vigorously developing their exhibition industry at the same time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows, in each of the past three years, the number of international exhibitions held in Hong Kong, the number of visitors, the number of orders brought to the exhibitors concerned, as well as the percentage of such exhibitions held in Hong Kong for the first time; and

    (b)whether it has assessed the impact of the development of exhibition industry in the neighbouring regions on Hong Kong's exhibition industry?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

*12. Hon TSANG Yok-sing to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that as the new computer operating systems which will soon be launched in Hong Kong have more demanding hardware requirements than the previous systems, it is believed that as many as 500 000 computers need to be replaced, and the discarded computers may cause environmental pollution problem. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it plans to assist the public in continuing to use computers which cannot be installed with the new operating systems but are still operable;

    (b)whether it has assessed what damages on Hong Kong's environment will be caused by the computer replacement trend; and

    (c)of the computer recycling schemes initiated or co-organized by the Government at present; whether it will further extend and promote such schemes to deal with the computer replacement trend?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*13. Hon Fred LI to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the levy of fuel surcharges on passenger carriage by airline operators, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of times, since January 2005, for which airline operators were granted approval for collection of fuel surcharges on short-haul and long-haul flights, and the total amounts of surcharges collected since then;

    (b)of the specific criteria adopted by the Civil Aviation Department for vetting and approving applications for extending the collection period of fuel surcharges, and the measures in place to prevent airline operators from obtaining profits in the event that their actual additional fuel expenditures are less than the revenue from the fuel surcharges;

    (c)whether the levels of fuel surcharges approved in the past six months have been adjusted in line with the movements of aviation fuel prices in that period; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether it will temporarily stop granting approval for fuel surcharge applications or reduce the proposed amount of surcharges when granting such approval; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

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

I have learnt that the project for the demolition of the clock tower of the old Star Ferry Pier in Central commenced in the afternoon of 12 December 2006. In the demolition process, workers worked day and night, and used heavy equipment such as large excavators and derricks to lift the entire top part of the clock tower, which was transferred to the barge berthed at the Pier and then shipped away. The whole project was completed within five days. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the method and equipment used and the timetable for the above project, and whether they are the requirements stipulated in the tender documents of the project and have been agreed by the contractor; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for switching to the above demolition method, and whether the Government has to bear additional costs, including the costs for having the demolition works carried out at night; if so, of the amount involved;

    (b)given that contractors are required to apply for Construction Noise Permits from the Environmental Protection Department ("EPD") for using powered mechanical equipment ("PME") at night, of the date on which EPD received the relevant permit application, when and by whom as well as for what justifications the permit was issued, and whether EPD had deployed staff to monitor the contractor's compliance with the requirements in the permit, including the types of PME to be used, as well as the hours and conditions for using such equipment; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)as it has been reported that at the meeting of the Panel on Planning, Lands and Works on 18 December 2006, an official of the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau said that the construction waste concerned had been disposed of at a landfill, of the name of the landfill where such construction waste was disposed of, and why the authorities did not treat such waste as inert waste and deliver them to fill reception facilities?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

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

Recently, I received many complaints alleging that illegal motor racing involving up to 20 to 30 cars often took place during the early hours, causing great noise nuisance to residents nearby. Although the residents have lodged complaints to the Police, so far the Police have not taken any enforcement action in this regard. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of complaints about illegal motor racing received in each of the past three years, together with a breakdown by the locations involved;

    (b)of the respective numbers of persons arrested for and convicted of participating in illegal motor racing in each of the past three years; and

    (c)whether the authorities will step up enforcement actions against illegal motor racing; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

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

The Hong Kong Tourism Board ("HKTB") was allocated an additional provision of $470 million in the two financial years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 for launching global marketing campaigns with a view to attracting 1.2 million extra visitors. However, visitor arrivals in the first 11 months of last year stood at about 23 million only, suggesting that the annual figure would likely fall short of the expected 27 million. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will reduce the above additional provision on a pro rata basis according to the percentage of last year's visitor arrivals falling short of the expected figure, so as to uphold the principle of prudent financial management; if it will, of the details; if not, whether it has assessed if the relevant expenses incurred by HKTB are cost effective; and

    (b)as HKTB has repeatedly been criticized for its ineffective use of public money, whether the Government will review the practice of funding HKTB substantially from public coffers and consider subsidizing only part of HKTB's expenses instead, while allowing it to explore chargeable services?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

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

It was reported that the Police arrested a number of mainland women in an anti-vice operation on 18 November last year. The Police suspected that they were engaging in prostitution on grounds that when intercepted, they were found to be carrying such items as condoms or lubricants but could not give reasonable explanation. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of persons arrested on the above grounds by the Police in the past three years and, among them, the number of those subsequently charged with the relevant offences;

    (b)whether it is stipulated in the Police's internal guidelines on anti-vice operations issued to police officers that an arrest may be made on the above grounds; if so, when such grounds for arrest was added to the guidelines; if not, whether the authorities have assessed if it is lawful to make an arrest on such grounds; and

    (c)whether only mainland women are arrested on such grounds; if so, whether the authorities have assessed if this practice constitutes discrimination; if not, of the categories of people whom the Police may arrest on such grounds?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It has been reported that the Medical Council of Hong Kong ("HKMC") decided, in September last year, to lodge an appeal against the High Court's judgment on the illegality of restrictions against practice promotion. However, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") refused to provide assistance to HKMC on the grounds that the appeal had little chance of being allowed. It has also been reported that HKMC is not able to raise funds from the public because of legal restrictions. As a result, it lacks the funding for lodging an appeal on its own. Although DOJ eventually decided to assist HKMC in lodging an appeal, some doctors have relayed to me that this incident reveals that HKMC lacks total independence and the autonomy of the medical profession is being challenged. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has plans to conduct a comprehensive review on the functions, composition and structure of HKMC, and amend the relevant provisions in the Medical Registration Ordinance (Cap. 161); if it has, of the timetable and direction of the review; and whether it will consult all the doctors in Hong Kong on the review; if it will, when the consultation will be conducted; if it will not, the reasons for that? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

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

In reply to my question on 2 November 2005 regarding the vaccination of babies and infants, the Government stated that the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases ("the Committee") under the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health ("DH") "is reviewing scientific information concerning the use of a combined vaccine, among others, and will make recommendations in respect of vaccine schedules and combinations among various options, having regard to their relative performance and cost-effectiveness". Subsequently, DH announced in this month that it would launch an updated Childhood Immunisation Programme ("CIP") in February 2007 and would adopt a new 4-in-1 combination vaccine. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that some paediatricians have pointed out that a 5-in-1 combination vaccine, which has fewer adverse reactions than the 4-in-1 combination vaccine and is also effective against meningitis, has been introduced by quite a number of private medical practitioners some four or five years ago, and a 6-in-1 combination vaccine is known to be available in the market, whether, before it decided to adopt the 4-in-1 combination vaccine, it has considered adopting the aforesaid combination vaccines and studied their efficacy; if it has studied, of the specific results; if it has not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the factors taken into consideration in determining whether new types of vaccines should be included in the CIP (together with the details), and the specific reasons for introducing the 4-in-1 combination vaccine; and

    (c)given that the Government has been using the existing combination of vaccines for many years despite the advent of a number of new and more effective combinations of acellular vaccines (e.g. vaccines which require fewer injections, have fewer adverse reactions but are effective against more diseases), whether it has reviewed if the current mode of operation of the Committee enables it to keep up with the rapid development of medical and pharmacological technologies and to make timely recommendations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

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

Regarding drug rehabilitation services for young people, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the number of youngsters who underwent drug rehabilitation in each of the past three years, together with a breakdown by genders, age groups and drug types, as well as their respective percentages in the total number of youngsters who underwent drug rehabilitation;

    (b)the number and names of existing drug rehabilitation centres specifically set up for young people, and whether the authorities have reviewed the adequacy of facilities in these centres; and

    (c)the other support measures to help youngsters rehabilitate from drug addiction?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*For written reply.

III. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance

Secretary for Security to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (Germany) Order, made by the Chief Executive in Council on 14 November 2006, be approved.

(The Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
(Germany) Order was issued on 16 November 2006
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 137/06-07)

IV. Members' Motions

  1. Fully safeguarding the safety of food supply to Hong Kong

    Hon Fred LI: (Translation)

    That, as the recent spate of food safety incidents have revealed that the food regulatory laws in Hong Kong are flawed with loopholes, and there is a lack of a comprehensive food safety policy, thereby subjecting the public to food safety hazards, this Council urges the Government to expeditiously adopt measures to fully safeguard the safety of food supply to Hong Kong, including:

    (a)drawing up a legislative timetable for prescribing standards for pesticide and chemical residues in vegetables and fruits;

    (b)enacting legislation to regulate imported foods, including setting up a licensing system for food importers, implementing mandatory inspection and testing at border control points, clearly specifying the penalties for non-compliance, and bringing live fish, egg products, vegetables and fruits into the regulatory ambit; and

    (c)establishing a food supply chain tracking mechanism to enable food surveillance and control at source, so as to achieve the objective of ensuring food safety "from farm to fork".

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon WONG Yung-kan: (Translation)

    To delete "recent spate of" after "That, as the"; to add "which occurred successively in recent years" after "food safety incidents"; to add "the regulatory departments have failed to effectively perform their gate-keeping roles and" after "have revealed that"; to add "and food safety standards" after "a lack of a comprehensive food safety policy"; to delete "to regulate" after "enacting legislation" and substitute with "on a permission system for"; to add "setting comprehensive food safety standards, strictly regulating the use of drugs and chemicals, their residue contents as well as the microbe counts and heavy metal contents in foods, etc," after "setting up a licensing system for food importers,"; to add "expeditiously" after "clearly specifying the penalties for non-compliance, and"; to delete "and" after "egg products, vegetables and fruits into the regulatory ambit;"; to add ", and introducing legislation on withdrawal from sale and recall of problematic foods" after "establishing a food supply chain tracking mechanism"; and to add "; (d) reviewing the composition, functions and operation of existing food safety regulatory departments, with a view to raising their professional standards and enabling them to more effectively perform the gate-keeping roles required of them; and (e) perfecting the food safety notification mechanisms between Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as other places of origin of foods, and strengthening cooperation with the Mainland in combating the import of foods into Hong Kong through irregular channels" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Tommy CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To add "involving foods supplied to Hong Kong" after "the recent spate of food safety incidents"; and to delete "expeditiously" after "this Council urges the Government to" and substitute with "comprehensively consult the relevant trades as soon as possible, and".

    (iii)Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki: (Translation)

    To add "the notification mechanism between Hong Kong and the Mainland is deficient," after "the recent spate of food safety incidents have revealed that"; to delete "and" after "egg products, vegetables and fruits into the regulatory ambit;"; and to add "; (d) encouraging and allowing more local and international experts to participate in the work of the Expert Committee on Food Safety in order that the Centre for Food Safety can operate in a more professional manner, and drawing up reference benchmarks for food safety policies and standards which are suitable for Hong Kong and recognized by the international community, so as to ensure effective and comprehensive food safety management 'from farm to fork'; (e) enhancing the dissemination of information on food safety so that consumers can grasp such information expeditiously, and providing educational and training programmes run by officials responsible for food safety management, so as to promote the awareness of safeguarding food safety; and (f) organizing, supporting and encouraging the technological research and collaborative efforts of the food industry and academic bodies in the area of food safety" immediately before the full stop.

    Amendment to Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki's amendment
    Hon WONG Ting-kwong:
    (Translation)

    To delete "mechanism" after "the notification" and substitute with "mechanisms"; to delete "is" after "between Hong Kong and the Mainland" and substitute with "as well as other places are"; and to add "as well as members of the agriculture, fisheries and food industries" after "local and international experts".

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

  2. Urging the Government to make effective use of the surplus and plough it back into the community

    Hon SIN Chung-kai: (Translation)

    That, as the Government's finance returned to the surplus last year and the target fiscal surplus for this year will be attained, and the Government further anticipates a very robust financial position with a fiscal reserve exceeding $400 billion by 2012, this Council urges that, having regard to the existing improved economic and financial situation, the Government should, in addition to reducing salary tax to alleviate the burden on the middle class, target at facilitating Hong Kong's long term development by making effective use of the surplus and investing more resources in:

    (a)setting up a children's development fund to provide opportunities for children from low-income families to participate in extra-curricular activities;

    (b)relaxing the eligibility criteria for travelling allowance for the low-income groups to encourage employment;

    (c)shortening the waiting time for care places for the elderly;

    (d)allowing the elderly to use public medical services at half price;

    (e)implementing cross-boundary and large-scale infrastructure projects to create jobs;

    (f)implementing small class teaching to improve the quality of education;

    (g)offering loans to associate degree graduates to study abroad, so as to nurture talents; and

    (h)implementing a green tax to encourage environmental protection by the public through economic incentives.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Frederick FUNG: (Translation)

    To add "the disparity between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong continues to aggravate, whereas" after "That, as"; to delete ", in addition to" after "the Government should" and substitute with "accord priority to alleviating the disparity between the rich and the poor and protecting the interests of the grass-roots workers and the disadvantaged groups before"; to add "and" after "burden on the middle class,"; to delete "relaxing the eligibility criteria for travelling allowance for the low-income groups to encourage employment" after "(b)" and substitute with "granting travelling allowance to the low-income groups residing in remote areas to relieve the problem of working poverty; (c) promoting the development of social enterprises by providing them with one-stop support, training and consultancy services, as well as offering them seed money, short-term rent remission and tax concessions"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(f)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(h)"; and to delete the original "(h)" and substitute with "(i)".

    (ii)Hon CHAN Kam-lam: (Translation)

    To add "the economy in Hong Kong has recorded satisfactory growth in three successive years," after "That, as"; to add "(a) creating a tax allowance for newborn babies; (b) creating a tax allowance for private medical insurance premium; (c) further increasing the amount of tax deduction for home loan interest; (d) providing tax deduction, with a ceiling, on voluntary contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund; (e) waiving the rates for one quarter;" after "investing more resources in:"; to delete the original "(a)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(h)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(i)"; to add ", as well as offering more comprehensive health care services for the elderly, including increasing the quotas at the elderly health centres and relaxing the limits on income and assets under the medical fee waiver mechanism to lighten the burden of medical expenses on those elderly people who are poor; (j) launching a 'territory-wide medical examination' scheme" after "use public medical services at half price"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(k)"; to delete the original "(f)" and substitute with "(l)"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(m)"; and to delete the original "(h)" and substitute with "(n)".

    (iii)Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG: (Translation)

    To delete "Government's finance returned to the surplus" after "That, as the" and substitute with "Government successfully eliminated the two deficits"; to delete "attained" after "this year will be" and substitute with "exceeded"; to add "together with other assets of the Exchange Fund, giving a reserve totalling over $1 trillion," after "by 2012,"; to delete "setting up a children's development fund to provide opportunities for" after "(a)" and substitute with "assisting"; to delete "participate in extra-curricular activities" after "children from low-income families to" and substitute with "have opportunities for a balanced development in order to help resolve the problem of inter-generational poverty"; to delete "travelling allowance" after "eligibility criteria for" and substitute with "the transport support scheme on cross-district employment"; to delete "the elderly to" after "(d) allowing" and substitute with "those elderly people who are poor to enjoy fee concessions when they"; to delete "at half price" after "use public medical services" and substitute with "; (e) adopting various corresponding measures and creating a conducive ambience in the community, which aim at helping people to help themselves, raising the capabilities of the socially disadvantaged groups, and vigorously promoting the development of social enterprises"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)"; to add "(g) streamlining the licensing system, so as to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, particularly the small and medium enterprises, and to improve the business environment; (h) increasing the infrastructure for tourism and upgrading the ancillary facilities; (i) enhancing the competitiveness of the logistics and freight industries;" after "to create jobs;"; to delete the original "(f) implementing small class teaching to improve" and substitute with "(j) improving"; to add "and, when cautiously assessing the additional resources required for implementing small class teaching, weighing the commitment of the Government and parents, and after securing the support in teacher training, gradually implementing small class teaching in primary schools" after "the quality of education"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(k)"; to delete "graduates" after "associate degree" and substitute with "and tertiary students"; to delete "and" after "nurture talents;" and substitute with "(l) increasing the number of degree places and optimizing the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, as well as providing suitable complementary measures for the quality migrants coming to Hong Kong, so as to attract talents from overseas to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong; (m) setting up an emergency relief fund for the provision of supportive measures, such as waiver of rent, to alleviate the hardship faced by the industries concerned at times of major emergencies; (n) reducing and remitting the duty on ultra low sulphur diesel; and"; and to delete the original "(h) implementing a green tax to encourage" and substitute with "(o) promoting a green environment and encouraging".

    Amendment to Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG's amendment
    Prof Hon Patrick LAU Sau-shing:
    (Translation)

    To delete "and to improve" after "small and medium enterprises," and substitute with "doing away with bureaucratic red tape and improving"; to add "and investment" after "the business"; to add ", thereby creating job opportunities and more social wealth" after "environment"; to delete "and" after "infrastructure for tourism" and substitute with ","; to add "and holding a feature design competition for Central Park and Marina Plaza" after "upgrading the ancillary facilities"; to add "including building large-scale overseas student residential villages to tie in with the policy objective of developing Hong Kong into an educational hub in South-east Asia," after "coming to Hong Kong,"; to delete "and" after "ultra low sulphur diesel;"; and to add ", building pedestrian boulevards for urban greening and beautification, reducing emissions from different modes of transport, improving air quality" after "promoting a green environment".

    (iv)Hon WONG Kwok-hing: (Translation)

    To add "the general public and" after "reducing salary tax to alleviate the burden on"; to add "(e) relaxing the limit of absence from Hong Kong to one year in respect of the Old Age Allowance;" after "use public medical services at half price;"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(f)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(h)"; to delete "and" after "nurture talents;" and substitute with "(i) allowing tax deduction on loan repayment to various student financial assistance schemes;"; to delete the original "(h)" and substitute with "(j)"; and to add "; (k) raising the allowance for the first two children to $50,000 and creating an allowance for unemployed dependent parents or grandparents aged over 50; (l) providing every household with a deduction of $5,000 on rates; and (m) offering employees a tax concession of up to $1,000 for voluntary contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Clerk to the Legislative Council