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FS outlines fiscal consolidation plan

In the 2024-25 Budget announced today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan proposed a number of measures to increase revenue and outlined a fiscal consolidation programme which aims to restore fiscal balance in a few years’ time.   Mr Chan said even though the Government strived to reduce expenditure as the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided, the total expenditure for 2023-24 reached $727.9 billion, representing an increase of 36.9% compared with 2018-19, of which operating expenditure rose substantially by 40.2% whereas operating revenue increased only 13.1%.   On capital works, owing to the fact that the Government has been pressing ahead with land and housing supply projects, along with other infrastructure works for improving the environment and people’s livelihood, the average annual expenditure has increased from about $76 billion over the past five years to about $85 billion in 2023-24.   Fiscal reserves have dropped to the current level of $733.2 billion.   Fiscal consoli

Land exchange opens for applications

The Lands Department today issued Practice Note No. 1/2024 inviting in-situ land exchange applications for designated development sites within the Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area (HSK/HT NDA).

 

The land exchange arrangement covers sites currently available for applications within the second phase and remaining phase developments of the NDA. 

 

These include about 7.1 hectares planned for private residential development, about 17.7 hectares for commercial development, about 4.4 hectares for mixed residential and commercial development within the NDA as well as about 15.6 hectares of modern industry sites mainly for logistics and storage use.

 

In order to tie in with the overall works programme, the department said it will accord priority to processing land exchange applications involving development sites within the second phase development.

 

The deadline for submitting land exchange applications in respect of the second phase development is April 30, 2024, while the deadline for acceptance of binding basic terms offer (with premium) is March 31, 2025.

 

As for applications within the remaining phase development, the deadlines for submitting applications and the acceptance of binding basic terms offer (with premium) will be separately announced later.

 

The department added that applicants may choose standard rates for premium assessment as an alternative to the conventional case-by-case assessment mechanism. The applicable level of standard rates will be announced later this year.

 

If an application cannot be concluded within the specified deadline, the Government will proceed to initiate the land resumption procedures in taking forward the NDA development so as not to delay the overall works programme.


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