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LegCo to resolve a proposed resolution moved by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury under the Public Finance Ordinance
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The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council will hold a meeting this Wednesday (March 16) at 11am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. During the meeting, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury will move a resolution under the Public Finance Ordinance to seek the Council's approval to give for a sum not exceeding $59,720,429,000 to be charged on the general revenue for expenditure on the services of the Government in respect of the financial year commencing on April 1, 2011.

     Meanwhile, Secretary for the Environment will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to amend the Buildings Energy Efficiency (Registered Energy Assessors) Regulation laid on the table of the Legislative Council on January 26, 2011.

     On Bills, Members will resume Second Reading debate on the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2011. If the Bill is supported by Members and receives its Second Reading, it will then go through the Committee Stage and be read the Third time.

     On Members' motions, Hon Starry Lee will move a motion on the development of self-financing post-secondary institutions, which states: "That since 2000, private education providers have multiplied in number, offering a great variety of self-financing post-secondary programmes; with the continuous expansion of self-financing institutions, there are quite a number of concerns in society, including the possibility of institutions running into financial difficulties, their development lacking co-ordination, unsatisfactory programme quality and tuition fees exceeding students' affordability, in addition to the Government's inadequate resource allocation in encouraging the development of self-financing institutions, resulting in the interests of the students concerned not being protected effectively; in order to ensure programme quality and safeguard students' interests, this Council urges the Government and the relevant authorities:

(a) to reform the existing mode of regulating post-secondary education, so as to ensure that the non-publicly-funded segment of the post-secondary education system is effectively monitored and co-ordinated;

(b) to provide matching grants for self-financing post-secondary institutions to build campuses, so as to alleviate the pressure of tuition fee increases exerted by campus construction costs;

(c) to consider providing tuition fee subsidies for students enrolling in self-financing post-secondary programmes through various channels, including studying establishing a post-secondary education fund or by way of education vouchers, etc.;

(d) to ensure the diversity of self-financing programmes, so as to provide programme options in different academic disciplines for students; and

(e) to appropriately control the growth in the number of places of self-financing programmes, so as to avoid an excessive supply of self-financing post-secondary places."

     Hon Cheung Man-kwong, Hon Wong Kwok-hing and Hon Tanya Chan will move amendments to Hon Starry Lee's motion respectively.

     Members will debate another motion on promoting a slow food culture. The motion, to be moved by Hon Mrs Sophie Leung, says: "That Hong Kong is a culinary capital, but the fast pace of life means that many Hong Kong people can only eat hastily and cannot enjoy food, and health problems have also developed as a result; the slow food culture emerging in Europe in recent years, which emphasises slowing down the tempo, upholding a green and natural attitude of living, advocating the concepts of responsible consumption and respect for food, encouraging the use of local food materials to reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation, and conserving the traditional eating culture, is worth promoting in Hong Kong; as promoting a slow food culture needs to start with food supply, sales and promotion as well as education, this Council urges the Government to adopt the following measures in the three areas of agriculture and fisheries, the economy and education, so as to promote a slow food culture:

Food supply íV

(a) to formulate a comprehensive agriculture and fisheries policy, including formulating a land policy for the New Territories that balances farming, conservation and development, protecting agricultural land and Hong Kong's water quality, providing support for reforming the relevant industries, and increasing the production of local food materials, with a view to raising the self-sufficiency rate of food provision in Hong Kong;

(b) to enhance the support for organic farming and encourage agricultural land rehabilitation, so as to provide the local community with fresh and safe organic food;

(c) to capitalise on the advantages of local natural resources and encourage mariculturists to rear quality fish;

Sales and promotion íV

(d) to assist local industries in applying for certification, promote certification services among the public and in neighbouring places, assist the relevant industries in establishing sales networks and enhance the promotion of quality agricultural and fishery products, so as to enable consumers to easily identify such products and purchase them without any worry, and to build a distinctive and quality image of local food materials;

(e) to promote the combination of eco-tourism and culinary tourism among the public and overseas visitors, such as organising tour groups featured by Poon Choi feasts in walled villages, holiday farming and tours of organic produce markets, etc., so as to boost tourism and the catering industry and promote local economic growth;

Education íV

(f) to step up public education and promote the concept and attitude of living of a slow food culture among the public, so that members of the public can, through dietary options, protect the environment, treasure nature and develop sustainable dietary habits;

(g) to encourage the public to find out the sources, production and quality of food in the context of food supply chain, so that they are more able to relish and select food in the course of eating, and to provide food producers with incentives for producing quality organic food; and

(h) to promote a slow food culture in primary and secondary schools, teach students to reduce their eating speed during lunch time, advocate the values of responsible consumption and avoiding food wastage, and supply fresh and quality food in schools as an alternative to fast food."

     Hon Ip Wai-ming, Hon Audrey Eu, Hon Fred Li and Hon Wong Yung-kan will move amendments to Hon Mrs Sophie Leung's motion respectively.

    In addition, Hon James To will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period of amending the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 5) Notice 2011 and the Securities and Futures (Financial Resources) (Amendment) Rules 2011, and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on February 23, 2011 to the meeting of April 13, 2011.

    Meanwhile, Hon Miriam Lau will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period of amending the Public Revenue Protection (Dutiable Commodities) Order 2011 and the Public Revenue Protection (Motor Vehicles First Registration Tax) Order 2011, laid on the table of the Legislative Council on March 2, 2011, to the meeting of May 4, 2011.

    Hon Miriam Lau will also move a motion under Rule 49E(2) of the LegCo Rules of Procedure. The motion states: "That this Council takes note of Report No. 16/10-11 of the House Committee laid on the Table of the Council on March 16, 2011 in relation to the subsidiary legislation and instrument(s) as listed below:

  Antiquities and Monuments (Declaration of Proposed Monument) (Ho Tung Gardens)."

    During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

    The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo InfoFax Service (Tel: 2869 9568) or the LegCo website (www.legco.gov.hk). Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.

    Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the LegCo Chamber. They may reserve seats by calling 2869 9399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also listen to the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo website.

Ends/Monday, March 14, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:18

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