Revised version
A 97/98-3(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 14.7.97)


Provisional Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 16 July 1997 at 2:30 pm


I.Swearing in

Ms CHOY So-yuk to make the Affirmation of Allegiance.

II.Papers

Subsidiary Legislation L.N. NO.
1. Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Amendment of Second Schedule) (No.2) Order 1997 388/97
2. Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Pleasure Grounds) (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No.3) Order 1997 389/97
3. Railways Ordinance (59 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 390/97
4. Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (96 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 391/97
5. Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 228 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 392/97
6. Women and Young Persons (Industry) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 229 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 393/97

Report

Report of the Bills Committee on Legislative Provisions (Suspension of Operation) Bill 1997

(to be presented by Mr IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Bills Committee, who will address the Council)

III. Questions

  1. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :
  2. Will the Government inform this Council of the approximate number of applications for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports which have been received up to the end of the first week for receiving such applications and, out of these applications, the estimated number of such applications which have been identified as having been made by persons who have no other valid travel documents and/or whose travel documents will expire within 12 months?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Security

  3. Mr CHAN Choi-hi to ask :
  4. (Translation)

    Will the Government inform this Council of the improvement measures in place to tackle the existing air pollution problems in the territory?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

  5. Mr CHENG Yiu-tong to ask :
  6. (Translation)

    In view of the concern by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region about the housing problem in Hong Kong and his statement that the Government will be planning to achieve the goal of having 70% of the people in Hong Kong becoming home owners within the next ten years, the housing production is expected to increase. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. whether it has any plans to provide training to local construction workers, so as to meet the expected increase in housing production; if so, what the details are;

    2. apart from the existing Supplementary Labour Scheme, whether the Government has any other plans to import construction workers into Hong Kong; if so, how it ensures that such plans will not affect the priority given to local workers in employment; and

    3. whether the Government will issue visas for the importation of construction workers to meet the expected huge demand for housing production prior to conducting a review on the Supplementary Labour Scheme?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education and Manpower

  7. Mr CHAN Wing-chan to ask :
  8. (Translation)

    Since June 1995, the Government has implemented a subvention scheme to assist self-financing or private residential care homes in carrying out improvement works in compliance with the requirements of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance (the Ordinance), so as to enable these institutions to continue their operation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. of the number of self-financing and private residential care homes issued with licences or certificates of exemption since the commencement of the Ordinance, and the proportion of these institutions to the total number of residential care homes in Hong Kong;

    2. of the number of residential care homes which have applied for financial assistance under the above subvention scheme; whether any of these applications have been rejected and, if so, what the reasons are; and
    3. whether there are any residential care homes whose applications for the renewal of the certificate of exemption have been approved on the ground that they need time to find new premises to continue their operation; if so, of the respective numbers of such applications and those which have been approved, as well as the longest period of renewal granted?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Health and Welfare

    * 5.Mr David CHU to ask : (Translation)

    Will the Government inform this Council:

    1. which government department was responsible for compiling the guest list for the reception celebrating the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997; and

    2. whether all members of the three-tier system of assembly of the last term before the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region had been invited; if not, what criteria were adopted when deciding on the list of guests to be invited?

    Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Home Affairs

    6.Dr HO Chung-tai to ask :(Translation)

    As a result of the recent torrential rains, traffic in the Northwestern New Territories has again come to a standstill. As the population of the Northwestern New Territories is expected to increase to 1.43 million by 2011, the traffic problem in the district will be further aggravated by then. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. whether, in order to alleviate the current traffic congestion problem in the Northwestern New Territories, the Government will adopt any transitional measures prior to the completion of Route 3, the Western Corridor Railway and the extension of Tuen Mun Highway, such as stepping up police patrols on highways and prosecution actions to ensure compliance with traffic regulations by motorists and reduce congestion caused by traffic accidents, as well as shortening the time needed to clear traffic accident sites so as to minimise the effect on traffic; and

    2. of the measures adopted by the departments concerned to ensure the early completion of urgent maintenance works on slopes on the highways in the Northwestern New Territories, so as to prevent traffic congestion caused by landslides?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Transport

    * 7.Mr LEE Kai-ming to ask : (Translation)

    It is learnt that the Immigration Department has issued more than 2000 visas under the Supplementary Labour Scheme. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. in relation to the above visas issued, of the breakdown by industry and type of work; and

    2. whether a review of the Supplementary Labour Scheme has been conducted; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education and Manpower

    * 8.Dr LAW Cheung-kwok to ask : (Translation)

    It is learnt that in providing home mortgage loans, the banks in Hong Kong currently impose an additional condition requiring mortgagors to take out fire insurance with coverage equivalent to the amounts of the loans offered, and to designate the lending banks as the beneficiaries so as to safeguard the banks' interests. As the average construction costs of residential units will not exceed 20% of property prices, the imposition of such a requirement on mortgagors far exceeds the actual need. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. of the specific details of the above additional condition imposed by the major banks in Hong Kong (including the Bank of China, the Hongkong Bank, the Hang Seng Bank, the Bank of East Asia, the Bank of America, the First Pacific Bank, etc.) when providing home mortgage loans;

    2. of the policy adopted to monitor the imposition of the above additional condition by these banks;

    3. of the total amount of fire insurance premiums paid by residential property owners, as well as the corresponding amount of related insurance claims paid, in each year from 1992 to 1996; and

    4. whether the Government will ask these banks to review the above additional condition; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Financial Services

    * 9.Miss CHAN Yuen-han to ask :(Translation)

    The recent rainstorms have caused landslides in many parts of the territory. A section of Tuen Mun Highway was closed temporarily due to landslides, causing serious traffic congestion. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

    1. it will conduct a review to ascertain if the recent arrangements to divert the traffic following the partial closure of Tuen Mun Highway were adequate;

    2. it has assessed the impact on Tuen Mun Highway in the event of a landslide occurring on the Highway; if so, of the specific details of such an assessment and the sections of Tuen Mun Highway which have been assessed as having a high risk of landslides; and

    3. it has adopted measures to prevent the occurrence of serious traffic congestion on Tuen Mun Highway during heavy rains?

    Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Transport

    *10.Dr HO Chung-tai to ask : (Translation)

    In late May of this year, the Slope Safety Technical Review Board appointed by the Civil Engineering Department declared that after years of efforts made by the Administration, the overall safety condition of slopes in Hong Kong had improved and that there were no signs indicating that any large-scale landslides would occur in this rainy season. However, there have been over 100 cases of landslides and floodings resulting in casualties following the continuous torrential rains in recent days. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

    1. whether it will review the existing criteria for the appointment of geotechnical experts; whether priority will be given to appointing local experts who are more familiar with the situation in Hong Kong; and

    2. whether the Government has formulated a set of short-term, medium-term as well as long-term measures to prevent the occurrence of landslides; if not, why not?

    Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Works

    *11.Dr LAW Cheung-kwok to ask :(Translation)

    With regard to the Protection of the Harbour Bill which was introduced by Miss Christine LOH Kung-wai and passed by the former Legislative Council at its last meeting held at the end of June this year, will the Government inform this Council of:

    1. the specific impact which the Bill may have on the Government's long-term planning on land development;

    2. the specific effects which the Bill may have on the decision-making process of the Town Planning Board; and

    3. the concrete plans at present for the implementation of reclamation projects in the Victoria Harbour?

    Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

    * For written reply.

    IV. Bills

    Second Reading

    Debate to resume

    1.United Nations Sanctions Bill :Secretary for Trade and Industry
    2. Legislative Provisions (Suspension of Operation) Bill 1997 :Chief Secretary for Administration

    Committee Stage and Third Reading

    1.United Nations Sanctions Bill :Secretary for Trade and Industry
    2. Legislative Provisions (Suspension of Operation) Bill 1997 :Chief Secretary for Administration

    V. Members' Motions

    1. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Provisional Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
    2. Mrs Selina CHOW :(Translation)

      (See Resolution at Appendix I)

    3. Formation of Panels
    4. Mrs Selina CHOW :(Translation)

      (See Resolution at Appendix II)

    5. Resolving the problems left by the British Hong Kong Government which affect the livelihood of the populace
    6. Miss CHAN Yuen-han :(Translation)

      That this Council urges Mr TUNG Chee-hwa, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to honour the pledges made at his election campaign by formulating fair and reasonable policies so that those problems left behind by the British Hong Kong Government which affect the livelihood of the populace, in areas such as housing, employment, retirement protection, education and disparity between the rich and the poor in society, could be resolved in earnest.

      Amendment to Miss CHAN Yuen-han's motion

      Mr KAN Fook-yee :(Translation)

      To delete "honour the pledges made at his election campaign by formulating" and substitute with "formulate"; to delete "the livelihood of" before "the populace"; to delete "in areas such as" and substitute with "that is, those involving"; to add "labour relations and" before "education"; and to delete "and disparity between the rich and the poor in society".

      Public Officer to attend:Chief Secretary for Administration

    7. Reduction of Rates Percentage Charge
    8. Mr NGAN Kam-chuen :(Translation)

      That this Council urges the Special Administrative Region Government to pay a fiscal dividend to the people of Hong Kong by expeditiously reducing by 40% the overall rates percentage charge from 5% to 3%.

      Public Officer to attend:Secretary for the Treasury


Ray CHAN
Clerk to the Provisional Legislative Council