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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

LegCo to Resume Second Reading Debate on Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 2003
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The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

The Legislative Council will hold a meeting this Wednesday (July 9) at 2.30 pm in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. During the meeting, Second Reading debate on the Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 2003 will resume.

The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council on 9 April 2003 and seeks to amend the Betting Duty Ordinance to provide for the authorization and regularization of football betting in Hong Kong and related matters.

Meanwhile, Second Reading debates on the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2002 and the Prevention of Child Pornography Bill will also resume during the meeting.

If the above bills are supported by Members and receive their Second Readings, they will then go through the Committee Stage and be read the third time.

The Revenue (No. 3) Bill 2003 will be introduced into the Council for First and Second Readings. Debate on the Bill will be adjourned.

The Secretary for Home Affairs will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to amend the Village Representative (Election Petition) Rules laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 11 June 2003.

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs will also move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to amend the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (District Councils) (Amendment) Regulation 2003 laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 21 May 2003.

Hon Andrew WONG will move another resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to repeal the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (District Councils) (Amendment) Regulation 2003 laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 21 May 2003.

On Members' motions, Hon CHAN Kam-lam will move a motion on Mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. The motion states: "That, as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Central Government have signed the "Mainland/Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement", which provides market development opportunities for Hong Kong's manufacturing and service industries, this Council urges the Government to expeditiously formulate relevant measures, such as streamlining various licensing procedures and enhancing intellectual property protection, in order to improve the business environment and attract more enterprises to invest in Hong Kong; this Council also urges the Government to expand its support network in the Mainland for Hong Kong enterprises and assist Hong Kong businessmen in strengthening their promotion and publicity efforts in Mainland cities, so as to enable Hong Kong enterprises to make full use of the business opportunities brought about by the above Arrangement, thereby creating more employment opportunities and improving the economy."

Members will also debate a motion on accountability system for principal officials. The motion, to be proposed by Dr Hon YEUNG Sum, says: "That this Council considers that the accountability system for principal officials introduced by the Chief Executive, Mr TUNG Chee-hwa, is neither democratic nor accountable, and is a failed system."

During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the Legislative Council InfoFax Service (Tel: 2869 9568) or the Legislative Council web site (http://www.legco.gov.hk).

Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Legislative Council Chamber. They may reserve seats by calling 2869 9399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

End/Monday, July 7, 2003

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