Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Miss Denise Yue, in moving the second reading of the Supplementary Appropriation (1999-2000) Bill 2000 in the Legislative Council today (June 7):
I move that the Supplementary Appropriation (1999-2000) Bill 2000 be read the second time.
Section 9 of the Public Finance Ordinance states that "If at the close of account for any financial year it is found that expenditure charged to any head is in excess of the sum appropriated for that head by an Appropriation Ordinance, the excess shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill which shall be introduced into the Legislative Council as soon as practicable after the close of the financial year to which the excess expenditure relates".
The expenditure accounts for the financial year 1999-2000 have been finalised by the Director of Accounting Services. The expenditure charged to 17 heads out of a total of 91 heads is in excess of the sum originally appropriated for those heads in the Appropriation Ordinance 1999. In each head, the excess expenditure reflects supplementary provision approved by the Finance Committee or under powers delegated by it. The Supplementary Appropriation (1999-2000) Bill 2000 seeks final legislative authority for the amount of supplementary provision approved during the year in respect of particular heads of expenditure by the Finance Committee or under powers delegated by it.
The total supplementary appropriation required in respect of the 17 heads of expenditure is $5,065 million. This excess is largely attributable to payments for which no provision was made in the original estimates. These were -
(i) the expenses of the new Environment and Food Bureau and the two new departments for the delivery of municipal services for the period 1 January to 31 March 2000 amounting to $2,153 million; and
(ii) the payment of $5 billion from the General Revenue Account to the Innovation and Technology Fund.
Despite these exceptional un-budgeted payments, total expenditure from the General Revenue Account was within the amount originally included in the Appropriation Ordinance 1999 as a result of savings in various heads of expenditure and the provision made for additional commitments in the original estimates for the year.
President, I hope Members will support the Supplementary Appropriation (1999-2000) Bill 2000. Thank you.
End/Wednesday, June 7, 2000