Date
29 March 2017
Transport secretary Anthony Cheung said the government will submit express rail budget proposal directly to the Legco finance committee, bypassing the public works subcommittee. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK
Transport secretary Anthony Cheung said the government will submit express rail budget proposal directly to the Legco finance committee, bypassing the public works subcommittee. Photos: HKEJ, RTHK

Govt to bypass Legco subcommittee for rail fund

The government will send its request for additional HK$19.6 billion funding for the high-speed rail link to the Legislative Council’s finance committee, thereby bypassing the public works subcommittee, RTHK reported on Tuesday.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung announced the decision on Tuesday after the subcommittee failed to vote on the funding request after its sixth meeting.

Cheung has warned that failure to approve the extra funding by the end of the month will mean construction will have to be suspended in March, resulting in additional costs for the government.

Lo Wai-kwok, chairman of the public works subcommittee, said the government was right in going directly to the finance panel because of the urgency of the request.

Pan-democrat lawmakers have sought to delay the approval of the extra budget because of concerns that the joint immigration checkpoint for the controversial rail project would violate Hong Kong’s autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle.

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JP/CG

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