Some people have objected to Prime Minister Li Peng's proposal to lift a three-year ban on fireworks in the capital to allow people to celebrate Hong Kong's handover. The China Business Times carries a rare account of public opposition to the plan, aimed at courting mass popularity. Several Beijing workers warned Mr Li that lifting the ban would lead to disastrous accidents and injuries. Although the debate took place at the National People's Congress in the capital last month, the newspaper only carried the story at the weekend. 'In the past, fireworks caused injuries and led to a big waste of wealth. Things are much better since the ban was implemented,' Zhang Aiqin, the manager of a beauty parlour in the West Railway Station told Mr Li. She also warned that lifting the ban might damage the image of the Government and undermine people's confidence in municipal laws and by-laws. Mr Li argued that setting off fireworks and crackers at designated spots would 'promote a sense of happiness'. 'Especially for the return of Hong Kong, the central Government wants to organise a large-scale celebration meeting to create a strong joyous atmosphere,' he said. Taxi driver Zheng Fenglin supported Mr Li, arguing that since the ban, Lunar New Year celebrations had been dull. Bo Xilai , mayor of Dalian, the city which hosted the 1997 China Fireworks Fair, has weighed into the debate by arguing that letting off firecrackers brings good fortune and is a time-honoured Chinese custom. So far, Beijing's municipal government has yet to embrace Mr Li's suggestion. A government spokesman said no 'clear' decision had been made as to whether certain areas in Beijing would be designated for fireworks displays.