Legislative Council Finance Committee
LegCo Paper No. FC 78/96-97
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB1/F/1/2

Minutes of the proceedings of the meeting

held on Friday, 14 February 1997, at 2:30 pm in the Legislative Council Chamber

Members present :

    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Chairman)
    Hon CHAN Kam-lam (Deputy Chairman)
    Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, OBE, JP
    Hon LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    Hon Ronald ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
    Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
    Hon LEE Wing-tat
    Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
    Hon James TO Kun-sun
    Dr Hon Samuel WONG Ping-wai, OBE, FEng, JP
    Hon Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
    Hon CHAN Wing-chan
    Hon CHAN Yuen-han
    Dr Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    Hon David CHU Yu-lin
    Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
    Hon LAW Chi-kwong
    Hon LEE Kai-ming
    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
    Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    Hon LO Suk-ching
    Hon Margaret NG
    Hon NGAN Kam-chuen

Members absent :

    Hon Allen LEE, CBE, JP
    Hon Martin LEE, QC, JP
    Dr Hon David K P LI, OBE, LLD (Cantab), JP
    Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    Hon SZETO Wah
    Hon Edward S T HO, OBE, JP
    Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    Hon CHIM Pui-chung
    Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    Dr Hon HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing
    Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
    Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
    Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
    Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
    Hon IP Kwok-him
    Hon LAU Chin-shek
    Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
    Hon MOK Ying-fan
    Hon SIN Chung-kai
    Hon TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr Hon John TSE Wing-ling
    Hon Mrs Elizabeth WONG, CBE, ISO, JP
    Hon Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Public officers attending :
    Mr K C KWONG
    JP Secretary for the Treasury
    Mr Kevin HO
    JP Deputy Secretary for the Treasury
    Mr Tony REYNALDS
    Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (5)
    Mr Francis HO, JP
    Director-General of Industry
    Mr Matthew CHEUNG, JP
    Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower
    Ms Esther LEUNG
    Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (4)
    Mr CHOW Tung-shan, JP
    Executive Director of Employees Retraining Board
Clerk in attendance :
    Mrs Vivian KAM
    Assistant Secretary General 1
Staff in attendance :
    Mrs Constance LI
    Chief Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)
    Miss Anita SIT
    Senior Assistant Secretary (Finance Committee)

Item No. 1 - FCR(96-97)102


The Committee approved the proposal.

Item No. 2 - FCR(96-97)103


2. The Committee approved the proposal.

Item No. 3 - FCR(96-97)104


Subhead 711 New Technology Training Scheme

3. While members had no objection to the proposed measures to promote the New Technology Training Scheme (NTTS), some members sought clarification on the need to raise the level of grant from 50% to 75% from NTTS towards the total training costs. These members considered that the removal of the ceilings on grants under the scheme should already provide sufficient incentive to the employers. In response, the Director-General of Industry (DG of I) advised that the Industry and Technology Development Council and industrial organisations had been consulted and were in support of the proposal. He clarified that the proposed 75% would be the upper limit, and the Vocational Training Council (VTC) would assess each application before determining the level of grant. The proposal was in line with other industrial support schemes and was intended to provide greater incentive for employers to make use of the scheme.

4. A member enquired about measures which the Government would take should the demand for funds exceed the amount available for disbursement. The Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (5) replied in response that VTC would prioritise the applications when demand exceeded the earnings of the capital grant. The Government would review the scheme in 12 months to see if improvements or adjustments would be warranted in the light of experience. DG of I also took note of members’ comments that the review should aim at assessing whether the scheme had achieved its objective rather than focusing only on the increase in grants. At the request of a member, DG of I undertook to provide further information on the number of applications received and approved in the first three months following implementation of the revised scheme. The Chairman advised that the subject could be further discussed by the relevant LegCo Panel.Admin

5. The Committee approved the proposal.

Item No. 4 - FCR(96-97)105


Subhead 924 Grant to Employees Retraining Board

6. In reply to some members, the Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower (DS/EM) advised that the proposed grant of $500 million would be a capital grant to enable the Employees Retraining Board to continue its existing and proposed activities for about three years, following the recent comprehensive review of its target and training programmes. The Government would review the long-term funding arrangements for the Board based on the actual operational needs of the revamped scheme.

7. On the future direction of the scheme, a member was of the view that on-the-job programmes had been very useful and should continue under the revamped scheme, perhaps in a modified form to suit market developments. She also considered it important for the scheme to respond effectively to changes in local economy and that it would be necessary to encourage the training bodies to devote more efforts on placement of trainees. In this connection, she supported the proposed placement-tied and performance-based payment system for the training bodies. DS/EM advised that the Government would take these comments into account in its analysis of the recommendations of recent consultancy studies on the scheme. He also undertook to provide members and the LegCo Panel on Manpower with further information when more concrete proposals on the training programmes were available.Admin

8. The Committee approved the proposal.

9. The Committee was adjourned at 2:50 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
28 February 1997

Last Updated on 7 Nov, 1996