For discussion FCR(96-97)39
on 12 July 1996


Subhead 202 Repatriation expenses

Members are invited to approve supplementary provision of $39 million to meet anticipated increase in expenditure on the repatriation of Vietnamese migrants.


The approved provision of the subhead is insufficient to meet anticipated expenditure on repatriation of Vietnamese migrants (VMs) for the remainder of the financial year.


2. The Director of Immigration (D of Imm), with the support of Secretary for Security, proposes supplementary provision of $39 million under Subhead 202 Repatriation expenses.


3. Provision under Head 70 Immigration Department Subhead 202 Repatriation expenses is for the repatriation of all immigration offenders, convicted criminals and ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants (ECVIIs), as well as Government’s contribution to the repatriation of VMs under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP). Since the number of repatriation cases is difficult to predict, we could not accurately forecast the precise amount needed when preparing the draft Estimates.

4. The provision in the 1996-97 Estimates is $15,087,000. By 26 June 1996, we have spent $11,883,000 (78.8%), mostly on ORP. The D of Imm has reviewed the requirements under this subhead and concluded that he would require a supplementary provision of $39 million to meet expenditure for the remainder of the financial year.

5. The position of the subhead is as follows -

VMs and ECVIIs
Other nationals

up to 26 Juen 1996

expenditure from
27 June 1996 to
31 March 1997
for 1996-97
provision now


If Members approve this proposal, the total provision under Subhead 202 Repatriation expenses will be $54,087,000.

6. The increase in expenditure on the repatriation of VMs is mainly due to the acceleration of the ORP. With the co-operation of the Vietnamese Government, we have stepped up ORP from about 230 VMs per month in February to April 1996 to about 600 VMs per month in May 1996. From April to June 1996, about 1 480 VMs returned on 11 ORP flights. The number of voluntary returnees has also picked up with the pace of the ORP. The Administration will now maintain the pace of the ORP and, in the light of developments, consider how to step up the programme further. On the basis of the current pace of ORP, we expect the additional repatriation expenses that the Administration has to bear for the remainder of the financial year is about $37,000,000. We expect this amount to be sufficient for repatriating about 5 400 VMs under the ORP in the remainder of the financial year. This amount is already net of the contribution of the UK Government (see paragraph 8 below for background information).


7. If Members approve the proposal, we will offset the supplementary provision required by deleting an equivalent amount under Head 106 Miscellaneous Services Subhead 251 Additional commitments.


8. Under the existing arrangement, the Hong Kong and UK Governments share the costs for the repatriation of VMs under the ORP on an equal basis. On the other hand, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees bear in full the expenses under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme.

9. In 1995-96, we spent a total of $19,115,826 under this subhead with Government’s contribution to the ORP and repatriation of ECVIIs amounting to $8,187,432 and the cost of repatriation of illegal immigrants and convicted criminal of other nationalities amounting to $10,928,394.

10. As at 27 June 1996, there were 15 590 VMs and 298 ECVIIs in Hong Kong. In the month of June 1996, we repatriated 631 VMs under the ORP and 797 VMs under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme.

Security Branch
June 1996

1 -- The split of the approved provision between VMs (including ECVIIs) and other nationals is notional.

Last Updated on 2 December 1998