It would be more difficult to get the stocks 'through train' plan with the mainland started amid the financial crisis, but the programme was still on track, the financial secretary said yesterday. John Tsang Chun-wah said mainland officials were assessing the risks for launching the scheme, which would allow mainlanders to trade Hong Kong stocks directly. He was speaking at the two-day fourth Asia Economic Summit, which opened in Hong Kong yesterday. Asked whether the stocks scheme had been derailed, Mr Tsang said: 'I think 'derail' is a bit serious. I think it's still gearing up, maybe gassing up or calling up or whatever, but it's something for the future.' He added: 'For the mainland officials, they need to sort out the risks, the different risks they would be facing - especially now during the crisis. It will be more difficult to get something like that started.' For example, he said the number of initial public offerings had slowed 'quite a bit' this year, so there were different considerations the government needed to look at before launching the scheme. 'But I'm sure we will do something ... and we hope we will be able to see that before long,' he said. The through-train policy was announced by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in August last year. However, it has been put on hold as Beijing feared that a huge capital outflow would undermine the mainland market.