Although the proposed land lease for the Hong Kong Disneyland Project is rather unique, it is however not out of line with the current land policy which provides the grant of new leases for a 50-year term, and to extend non-renewal leases for another 50 years at the discretion of the HKSAR Government, a Government spokesman said today (Thursday).
The spokesman was responding to an English daily today (Thursday) which queried about the authority of the HKSAR Government in granting land leases beyond 30 June, 2047.
"Under Article 7 of the Basic Law, it provides the HKSAR Government the authority to manage, lease or grant of land and natural resources and for their lease or grant to individuals, legal persons and organisations," he said.
The proposed land lease for the HK Disneyland Project, like other land leases, is also subject to the payment of land premium and annual Government rent.
"The comment that land leases granted after 1997 could not go beyond 30 June 2047 is, therefore, plainly incorrect," he said.
He added that Basic Law's Article 121 has no such restriction and that Annex III of the Sino British Joint Declaration only covered the grant of land leases before 1 July, 1997.
The 50-year plus 50-year lease term is not over-generous taking into account, the huge investments in the project and the fact that other overseas Disneyland Parks are operated on a free-hold lease term.
The land grant for the Hong Kong Disneyland Project will be subject to the approval of the Chief Executive-in-Council.
The spokesman said that the Government would continue to follow the existing land policy in granting new leases by taking into account any particular circumstances of individual case and to seek the approval of the Executive Council where appropriate.
End/Thursday, November 4, 1999