The Week Ahead January 26th

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While PWSC may be quiet, the Finance Committee will see a war as pan-dems seek to block the staffing proposals for the new Innovation and Technology Bureau.

 

Monday

 

Gregory So in Japan

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So visits Japan to promote Hong Kong’s tourism and business opportunities. His first stop is Tokyo where he will meet with Chinese Ambassador to Japan, Mr Cheng Yonghua and the State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Mr Yosuke Takagi. He will head to Osaka on 27th and visit the Knowledge Capital, a collabotation hub. Mr So will also speak at the opening of the “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” symposium organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo).

 

Policy briefing continued

Government officials today attended various LegCo’s panels to brief members of the Policy Address, specifically on welfare, environment and legal policies.

 

Chinese medicine industry called for more representation in the Government’s board

39 deputations attended a hearing this morning at the Subcommittee on Issues Relating to the Development of Chinese Medicine where they spoke on the registration, testing and development of proprietary Chinese medicines (pCms) and introduction of Good Manufacturing Practice requirements to pCms. Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Manufacturers United Association urged to have more represenstatives from the Chinese medicine industry to sit in the Chinese Medicine Development Committee.

 

Tuesday

 

$70 billion on infrastructures last year

Secretary for Development Paul Chan will brief LegCo members of the Policy Address on development policies. Government documents show that the spending of the Capital Works Programme in 2014-15 is around $70 billion, similar to the actual expenditure of $70 billion in 2013-14 (excluding the one-off grant to the Hospital Authority of $13 billion). The Government estimates the spending will maintain at around $70 billion in the next few years. Over the past 5 years, LegCo’s Finance Committee has approved about $370 billion for construciton projects, almost 70% were for the Ten Major Infrastructure Projects.


Wednesday

 

Cyd Ho: Repeal the NPCSC decision and have new constitutional reform

At the regular Wednesday’s Council meeting, members will discuss Cyd Ho’s (GC- HK Island, Labour Party) motion for Chief Executive CY Leung to request the Central Government to seek the “invalidation of the decision of NPCSC, and to reactivate the statutory process for constitutional reform, with a view to expeditiously implementing the selection of the Chief Executive and the election of all LegCo members by universal suffrage.“ The motion has no hope of passing as the pro-establishment memebers will vote it down.

 

However, the Council will likely approve the Land (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill 2014 which is to increase the penalties concerning unauthorised use of unleased lands. Steven Ho’s (FC- Agriculture and Fisheries, DAB) motion will also be approved which he urges the Government to remove the barriers for the agriculture and fisheries industry and promote the sustainable development of the agriculture and fisheries industry.


Thursday

 

Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee will meet with Hon Tanya Plibersek, Member of the Parliament of Australia. Ms Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

 

There will also be a meeting and luncheon between LegCo members and the DC members from Shatin and Yau Tsim Mong.

 

Friday

 

Temporary peace

Public Works Subcommittee will discuss the proposal to upgrade the existing Shek Wu Hui sewage treatment works for $502.7 million and to build noise barriers on Tuen Mun Road for $826.5 million. Both proposals will be passed as they are not controversial.

 

Cross fire in the Finance Committee

Pan-dems (except Charles Mok) objected to the creation of the Innovation and Technology Bureau last year and were provoked by the Government’s recent move for the Bureau’s staffing proposals to jump the queue. They are expected to filibuster the proposals and challenge the Chairman Tommy Cheung (FC- Catering, Liberal Party).

 

The proposals seek to:

  • Create three non-civil service positions of one Director of Bureau, one Deputy Director of Bureau and one Political Assistant to Director of Bureau and four permanent posts of one Administrative Officer Staff Grade A1 (D8), one Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (D3) and two Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2).
  • Provide funds for three politically-appointed officials – the Director of Bureau, the Deputy Director of Bureau and the Political Assistant to the Director of Bureau – and a Permanent Secretary of the Bureau.


The establishment of the Bureau is estimated to be around $22 million from 1 August 2014 to 31 March 2015 with $1.8 million transferred from other Government departments.