The Hong Kong business sector yesterday raised at least $17 million to establish a fund to help Sars victims. Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun said the preliminary idea was to grant the family of each patient who died of the disease $50,000 to $200,000. A monthly subsidy of between $3,000 and $8,000 will be given for up to three months to relatives of patients with financial difficulties. Mr Tien said the response from the business sector had been encouraging and the details would be worked out by the Social Welfare Department. Top female officials also launched a separate fund to help 17 children whose parents died of Sars. Director of Social Welfare Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said $400,000 had been raised so far. Civil Service chief Joseph Wong Wing-ping has reportedly backed the move and will appeal for donations from all civil servants.