Cleared shops may get fixed payouts

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 February, 2000, 12:00am

Owners of shops to be demolished for redevelopment could soon be able to claim compensation for business losses without proof.

The new approach is aimed at speeding up urban slum clearance by avoiding lengthy negotiations with affected shopkeepers.

The present practice requires shopkeepers to substantiate their claims by producing tax or profit-and-loss documents.

Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Stephen Fisher said most owners of small shops did not keep good records.

'The amount of compensation they are likely to receive is relatively modest,' Mr Fisher said.

He said the Government was considering allowing them to claim compensation even if they did not have concrete proof of losses. 'We are considering offering them a fixed amount,' he said.

The Government was also reviewing the compensation formula for affected homeowners, who could be paid enough to buy a five-year-old flat. Present payouts are based on allowing them to buy a 10-year-old replacement flat.

The review coincides with the release of the Urban Renewal Authority Bill, which is to be tabled in Legco on Wednesday.

Society for Community Organisation director Ho Hei-wah welcomed the move, saying it would help speed redevelopment.