PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 October, 1999, 12:00am

At least 52 bills will be tabled in the Legislative Council in the new session.

The Legislative Programme tabled yesterday includes 16 blueprint and 36 amendment bills covering a wide range of policy areas.

A bill on consular relations, setting out privileges for consular corps in the SAR, will be introduced.

The Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill will provide the statutory framework for implementing judgments in civil or commercial matters by overseas jurisdictions.

On privatisation, the Business and Services Promotion Unit is to hive off 'another area of service' apart from the partial selling of the Mass Transit Railway.

Officials stopped short of disclosing which department or agencies would be affected, saying a bill would 'establish a corporation to provide certain public services'.

Another bill will cover controls on chemical weapons under international conventions.

Consumer rights will be further protected with a new law dealing explicitly with unsafe products and civil liability.

On the financial services front, a new bill merging the two exchange houses and three clearing houses will be tabled.

To safeguard Victoria Harbour, the Protection of Harbour Ordinance will be expanded.

Off-course Macau betting centres will be outlawed while licensing for karaoke premises will be pushed.

Director of Administration Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai said more bills might be introduced.

'It is possible that we might have to introduce bills that are not on the list, while some of the bills on the list might not be introduced eventually,' she said.