Property watchdog proposal rejected
By CATHERINE NG
A PROPOSAL to create five senior positions to enforce policies on fighting property speculation was rejected by legislators yesterday.
The councillors said the new posts could not guarantee increased efficiency.
The Government deferred the application and referred it to the Housing Panel for discussion.
The suggestion to set up five directorate posts, with monthly salaries ranging from $73,150 to $92,250, was jointly made by the Buildings, Lands and Planning departments.
Its aim was to ensure better monitoring of the proposed special teams, which would be set up to implement measures dampening speculation and increasing housing supply.
The Government said one of the immediate targets was to produce 45,000 additional flats by 2001.
But, at yesterday's sub-committee meeting, independent legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing asked how the new posts would make a difference.
'I have reservations the Government can guarantee that, through the new posts, they will manage to produce the 45,000 flats on time,' she said.
'When low efficiency has been the reason for frequent postponement of the government schedule for many years, can the five additional staff help?' And Housing Panel chairman Lee Wing-tat said the Government should admit the slow progress of the past projects, which involved a number of departments, was due to red tape.