HONG KONG, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung on Wednesday called the new budged plan unveiled by financial secretary John Tsang earlier in the day well-thought-out and responsible, with targeted initiatives to respond to the aspirations of the public.
Hong Kong's financial secretary John Tsang on Wednesday proposed measures to bolster Hong Kong's position as an international hub, the promotion of industries, the keys and limits to development, and fiscal sustainability.
Delivering his budget proposals for the fiscal year 2014-15 at a Legislative Council meeting, Tsang said that the proposed measures will enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness, help keep economy growing, improve business environment, increase employment opportunities and maintain the health of public finances.
Commenting on the budget, Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung said in a statement that it also makes long-term planning for the city's public finances to enable Hong Kong to meet the challenges ahead, he said, adding the budget provides stable and long-term financial resources to fully support the implementation of initiatives announced in his Policy Address in January.
The city's Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said that the 2014-15 Budget has addressed different sectors' needs and society should welcome it.
Sin Yat Ming, Professor of Chinese University's Marketing Department, described the budget as an indistinctive one but it reflected that the government has done a lot of data analysis especially on the land and housing area which is an urgent issue to tackle.
Sin pointed out it was sensible that the budget cut down some of the relief measures, such as the rates will be waived for two quarters instead of one year like the previous years did.
"It will be dangerous when the welfare spending, which is up 9 percent comparing last year, is growing faster than our economic growth, which is only about 4 percent," he explained.
As an expert in the future economic development of Hong Kong, Sin was disappointed that the government lack a clear direction and wide enough vision to work out a strategic economic development for the city's future. He suggested that the government should make good use of its surplus to invest in different industries.
Convenor of the non-official members of Hong Kong Executive Council Lam Woon-kwong said that the budget is reasonable and balanced, which provides funding not only to support measures announced by the Chief Executive in his Policy Address, but also continues to provide relief measures to ease part of the financial burden on members of the public. (1 U.S. dollar equals to about 7. 76 HK dollars)
In order to improve livelihood of the needy and the disadvantaged, Tsang announced five measures involving 20 billion HK dollars (2.58 billion U.S. dollars), together with other measures in this budget, the fiscal stimulus effect on GDP will be 0.7 percentage point.