The KCRC is to impose an across-the-board pay freeze for the next 12 months. The decision has prompted a call that fares should be capped and that other transport firms should follow suit. About 4,200 Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation employees were told yesterday that pay levels would be frozen until June 30 next year. The decision followed pay surveys in 17 companies such as the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, public utilities and banks of similar size. In a circular to staff members, chairman Yeung Kai-yin indicated that pay rises could have been awarded. 'While the corporation's profitability may put it in a sufficiently strong position to make a pay award, this is not the decisive factor in determining pay levels,' he said. Pay levels in the 17 companies surveyed had proved decisive, he said. The survey showed all but one had decided to freeze pay this year. Legco transport panel vice-chairman and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong legislator Lau Kong-wah said the freeze was expected after the MTRC and the Government had made the same decision. But he said the KCRC had no justification for fare increases as a result. Mr Lau said the Sha Tin Provisional District Board had been told the KCRC would only promise not to raise fares before July. The last adjustment was in September 1997. With cross-border passenger flow rising continuously, Mr Lau believed there was room to cut fares. Mr Lau said buses and ferry companies should follow suit.