"Dear Mr Chow,
I refer to your email of 23 April to the Chief Executive and am authorised to reply.
COVID-19 has swept the world and made a great impact on the global and local economy. Preventing and controlling the infection with an all-out effort is still the top priority of the HKSAR Government and we have adopted a host of bold public hygiene measures. The HKSAR Government understands that the ongoing epidemic and related anti-epidemic measures have added tremendous burden to various sectors. Subsequent to the $30 billion measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund and the $120 billion relief package in the 2020-21 Budget, the Chief Executive announced on 8 April the details of the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund and further relief measures. The new round of measures cost more than $130 billion with a wide coverage, aiming to safeguard employment and the self-employed irrespective of sector, provide extra relief to those sectors hard hit by the epidemic and pave the way for post-epidemic economic recovery. These include an $81 billion Employment Support Scheme, as well as sector-specific initiatives totalling $21 billion. For details of the above measures, please refer to the attached booklet, which is also accessible at https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/fund/CE-Measure-12.pdf. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved at its meeting on 18 April the proposal for additional funding for the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund.
Direct subsidies aside, the HKSAR Government will roll out a host of other measures, which include providing further rental concessions for government properties and fee waivers, enhancing the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme, supporting the MTR Corporation to provide a fare discount, relaxing the threshold under the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme, granting interest-free deferral of loan repayments for students, and allowing deferrals of tax payments. Along with the measures introduced by the Airport Authority, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Insurance Authority, these will support businesses and members of the public at large.
In the face of the unprecedented challenge, the HKSAR Government, taking account of the views gathered from different channels, considers it necessary to take the above measures to help the society ride out the storm and to cater for the needs of businesses and members of the public as far as possible. We have also relayed your suggestions to the Transport and Housing Bureau for consideration. The HKSAR Government will remain vigilant in safeguarding public health. Let us act in unison in our fight against the disease.
for Private Secretary to Chief Executive "