Source: Hong Kong Information Services
Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged that the Government will continue to invest in Hong Kong’s development despite a cut in government revenue due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Presenting her policy blueprint to lawmakers, Mrs Lam said different sectors have been severely affected amid the tense China-US relations as well as the outbreak of social unrest and COVID-19.
The Government has rolled out relief measures totalling about $310 billion under this financial year’s Budget and the three rounds of the Anti-epidemic Fund.
“With the anticipation that the weak economy will persist for quite a long time and the consequent reduction in government revenue, it will be hard to continue to increase government expenditure. However, to avoid impeding the development of Hong Kong, we will continue to invest in infrastructure, develop our land resources and meet economic and livelihood needs,” she added.
On public sector reform, the Chief Executive said the Government should be visionary, improve existing policies and measures, as well as remove barriers for industries.
“Even with stringent control over increases in recurrent expenditure and zero growth in the civil service establishment, departments are required to carry out service reforms by implementing initiatives that can bring benefits and convenience to the public.”
Noting lawmakers’ reservations about the Government’s requests to create directorate posts under the current situation, Mrs Lam said all the staff establishment proposals awaiting scrutiny will be withdrawn and reviewed.
Turning to administrative procedures, the Government will streamline land development control and approval processes, as well as expedite the approval process of lease modification applications pertaining to the planning of major private residential sites and other developments.
Funds set up by the Government for supporting various policy objectives and target groups will also be examined to optimise their use and benefit more people, she added.