Tsang to help firms meet energy, environment criteria on mainland Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday promised to help Hong Kong-invested companies on the mainland meet requirements on energy preservation and environmental protection. In his first public comments on the renaming of the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau, he said the importance the government attached to information technology remained unchanged. Mr Tsang also said the government planned to relax restrictions on the Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme. It will be applied to firms with fewer than 100 employees, up from 20, covering 99 per cent of the 304,128 local technology-based companies. The maximum funding each project can receive is HK$2 million. Employees of welfare groups to benefit from funding boost More than 170 subsidised welfare organisations will soon receive extra funding in their lump-sum grants, and the welfare chief hopes they will use the money to raise staff salaries. Social Welfare Department director Stephen Fisher said that in accordance with the civil service pay rise, the department had applied for an additional HK$270 million for the grant, which would be shared among 175 subvented welfare organisations. Christine Fang Meng-sang, chief executive of the social service council, said the extra funding would be fully allocated to staff salaries, but believed it would be insufficient and the organisations would have to provide their own subsidies. Reshuffle at newspaper society The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong yesterday announced Lee Cho-jat would step down as chairman after serving 10 years. A new post of president has been created so Mr Lee can continue to help steer the organisation. A motion was passed to thank him for his contributions as chairman. Keith Kam Woon-ting, of Ming Pao, will fill the vacant post.