Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) managing director Raymond Kwok Ping-luen yesterday added his voice to growing calls for an end to the freeze on land sales, warning the Government threatened to end up with a severe budget deficit if it failed to introduce them soon. 'I think in Hong Kong we should concentrate more on how to generate more income,' he said. 'Cost-cutting is a buzz word right now, but I am sure all well-run companies should be looking at the future. '[Land sales] would help the Government finance the budget and therefore international confidence will improve.' His comments follow remarks by property tycoon Li Ka-shing who has also begun to express irritation with the continuing imposition of the land-sale freeze. Hong Kong office prices are estimated to have dropped by 60 per cent from their peak, while residential prices are said to have fallen by 50 per cent. Several Hong Kong companies have complained that their margins are being increasingly hurt by plummeting prices, and the chorus for land sales to resume is steadily becoming louder. The Government's nine-month ban on sales is set to be reviewed next month, and yesterday Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa promised that a decision would be made soon. But Mr Kwok said Hong Kong was no longer expensive in international terms and that office rental rates were now competitive with London. 'I am speaking in the best interests of Hong Kong,' he said. He said falling land prices could be contributing to the declining confidence in the SAR's economy. 'If I know that car prices are going to drop a lot, how is that going to encourage me to buy? 'At the moment I think prices have fallen to an affordable level.'