Motion Speeches

WK Lo's LegCo Express (June 2020)

W K LO's LegCo Express 
June 2020


1. Public work projects approved in the PWSC and the FC
On 24 June, I chaired the last PWSC meeting of the current term. 12 funding projects were approved on that day, involving an amount of $19.8 billion. For the whole 2019-20 Legislative session, PWSC has scrutinized and submitted to FC 26 public works projects with total amount $83.6 billion, and FC has approved $72.3 billion of which up to 10 July. 
In the 2018-19 legislative session, the PWSC has approved a total commitment of $140.2 billion. Among this, public works projects with total amount more than $75 billion could not be processed by the FC by then. Since the resumption of the FC this year, about $71.0 billion of this backlog has been approved up to 2 July, and the rest are still pending. 
With the above figures plus the $22.5 billion Block Vote, FC has approved $165.8 billion in this session and up to the time of writing this report. 
2. Programme for graduates under Green Employment Scheme
On 3 June, together with some representatives of the environment industry, I met the Secretary for the Environment to discuss the professional development route in the environmental industry.  On 26 June, a subsidy programme was launched for graduates under the Green Employment Scheme of the Environment Bureau. The programme aims to subsidise private companies and suitable organisations to employ 2019 or 2020 graduates, providing job opportunities for graduates interested in environment-related fields and to nurturing talents for meeting needs on various environmental fronts. The subsidy programme will cover more than 200 jobs and be implemented from 2020-21. It will provide employers of eligible graduates with a monthly subsidy of $5,610 to form part of the monthly salary paid to each eligible graduate for a period of 18 months. 
3. Support for the Engineering, Architectural, Surveying, Town Planning and Landscape sectors
On 19 June, the Government announced a total of 1750 places of salary subsidy to encourage and support employers of private organisations to employ graduates and assistant professionals of the engineering, architectural, surveying, town planning and landscape sectors. The subsidy is $10K per month per head for 12 months. The support measure is able to provide employment and training opportunities for graduates and assistant professionals of the relevant professional fields. The Stage 1 Application is open from 19 June 2020 and close on 18 July 2020.
4. Engineering sector signing up for the Charter to support the Scheme “A” Graduate Training and employment of assistant professionals
On 20 June, a Charter signing ceremony was held with representatives from HKIE, VTC, CIC and related associations to support the Scheme “A” Graduate Training and employment of assistant professionals. The Permanent Secretary of the Development Bureau and I were invited to witness the Charter signing, we wish young engineers to take up the baton despite the epidemic and the overall economic downturn.
5. Government strengthens support for construction sector under second round of Anti-epidemic Fund
On 11 June, the Development Bureau (DEVB) announced further support to the construction sector. The second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund will strengthen the support for the sector by offering a one-off subsidy to employers in the sector who have employed casual employees on a long-term basis, in order to supplement the scope not covered by the Employment Support Scheme (ESS). Under the new measure, if an employer in the construction sector has made contributions for a 'casual employee' under the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Industry Schemes for at least 15 days in the calendar month of March this year, the employee will be regarded as a 'qualified employee'. An employer may apply for a subsidy of $36,000 per 'qualified employee'. Applicants have to undertake not to make their employees redundant for a period of six months on receipt of the subsidy and to spend the full amount of the subsidy on paying wages to their workers. The measure will benefit about 3500 employers and 40000 casual employees. 
6. Oral question on promoting development of innovation and technology
On 17 June, I raised an oral question and asked the Government whether they will consolidate the various funding schemes under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) to enhancing the efficacy of ITF; whether they have formulated any overall planning to enhance the collaboration among universities, research institutions and the industries, and to promote the commercial application of technological achievements; whether the Government has assessed the impacts of the current situation on the collaboration among the government, industry, academic and research sectors, and rolled out corresponding measures. Please visit the following website to view my question and Government’s reply:

立法會盧偉國議員 博士 工程師 (工程界)
Legislative Council Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok (Functional Constituency - Engineering)