The Government is planning to get the Legislative Council to postpone the debate on the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2017 so that members can discuss a motion on the co-location arrangement for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail link.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the statement before the Executive Council meeting today, saying the Government will submit the non-binding motion to the council on October 25.
She said the move is necessary in light of the timing of the project, with the rail link’s Hong Kong section targeted to open in the third quarter of next year.
Mrs Lam said: “About the sort of adjourning the committee stage debate on the stamp duty amendment bill in order to ensure that the government motion on (the) co-location arrangement for the high-speed rail could be debated and hopefully passed in time, this is to take into account the very tight time frame that the co-location arrangements are being subject to, because after securing this support from the Legislative Council, we still have to go through what we call a three-step process to ensure that the arrangements we are putting in place have very strong legal backing, and that three-step process necessitates a final step of local legislation, which by itself will take time because it also has to go through (the) Legislative Council. So we really cannot delay or defer this LegCo debate on the co-location arrangement.”
The Government will table the stamp duty bill again after lawmakers finish the co-location motion discussion and the debate on the Policy Address, she added.