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SCED speaks to media on proposed establishment of ITB

     Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session on the proposed establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) after attending the meeting of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) today (February 5):

Reporter: Some lawmakers say that it is unfair that they cannot grill the Government on this issue because they said it is not possible for them to have attended all the panels before and the purpose of this committee is to conduct checks and balances. So what do you think about that?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: We have followed the procedures throughout and this topic has been thoroughly discussed over the course of one year. First, we attended (meetings of) all the applicable committees including the Panel on Commerce and Industry as well as the Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting. And we attended (the meeting of) the Establishment Subcommittee and we moved a motion in the Chamber (Council meeting). Throughout this course, we have plenty of opportunities for LegCo members to ask any questions should they desire. Also, we are open to any LegCo members asking us questions even beyond these meetings. So we have plenty of time already. We are here to explain the financial arrangement (on the proposed establishment of the ITB) in this Finance Committee obviously. Therefore I believe that we have engaged LegCo members quite thoroughly in the past. If they have any questions at all, we'll be very open to answer all these questions.

Reporter: Why is it so crucial for the LegCo to pass this proposal on February 14? What will be the consequences if it is not passed?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: Because it is tied in with the 2014-15 Estimates. The motion that we moved in the Chamber mentioned specifically the 2014-15 Estimates. Therefore we have a time limit in the normal process to pass this in this financial year. Therefore February 14 is the deadline.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, February 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:35