Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus
Hong Kong will roll out counter-cyclical measures worth over 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (15.48 billion U.S. dollars) this year to prop up its economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior HKSAR official said when delivering the annual budget on Wednesday.
Speaking in front of members of the Legislative Council, Paul Chan, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said this year’s budget focuses on stabilizing the economy and relieving people’s burden, and seeks to create a leverage effect to benefit individuals and enterprises.
The 2021-22 budget came after Hong Kong’s economy slipped 6.1 percent last year, with the latest jobless rate spiking to 7 percent. The government in response has committed a total of nearly 300 billion Hong Kong dollars (38.69 billion U.S. dollars) for relief measures.
Given the lingering COVID-19 spread, “our most urgent task is to contain the epidemic and press ahead with the vaccination program,” Chan said. “So that people and businesses can be back on track, and safe travelling between Hong Kong and the mainland as well as the rest of the world can be resumed as soon as possible.”