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Friday, February 21, 2020, 22:44
HK LegCo approves HK$30b epidemic relief fund
By Kathy Zhang
Friday, February 21, 2020, 22:44 By Kathy Zhang

HONG KONG - The legislature’s Finance Committee approved on Friday a government-proposed HK$30 billion expenditure to relieve the hardships of businesses and individuals hit by the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed gratitude to lawmakers’ support for the funding request, saying the approval will help the city in the fight against the disease and ride out the difficult time

The meeting, attended by key government principal officials, was extended by two hours to allow more time for lawmakers to question officials on the proposal. It ended at around 9 pm as lawmakers voted 59-3 in favor.

READ MORE: Lam eyes anti-epidemic fund to help embattled tech startups

Last week, the Hong Kong government proposed the special expenditure to subsidize various business sectors amid the coronavirus outbreak. The proposal was tabled on Friday at the legislature for ratification. 

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in a statement issued on Friday night, expressed gratitude to lawmakers’ support for the funding request, saying the approval will help the city in the fight against the disease and ride out the difficult time. 

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Lam pledged that the government would spare no efforts in implementing relief measure mentioned in the proposal. She hopes to grant the subsidies to enterprises and individuals as soon as possible. 

During the meeting, a number of legislative councilors expressed their concerns that some sectors, such as the beauty industry, private education centers and the information technology industry, are not covered by the proposed aid. 

In the statement, Lam pledged to continue listening to the voice of all sectors and introduce more relief measure if necessary. 

In addition, Lam appealed to different sectors of the society to unite and offer support to each other during this difficult time.

kathyzhang@chinadailyhk.com


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