A senior official of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Sunday called for support from lawmakers in the third round of anti-epidemic fund to fight COVID-19 and revive the economy.
Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government, said in an online article that he will strive to win the lawmakers' support when attending a Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting on Friday.
"Given continued epidemic and economic hardships, I genuinely hope LegCo members can ... avoid unnecessary infighting and work with the government to fight the epidemic, develop the economy and improve people's livelihood for the sake of Hong Kong's overall interests," Cheung said.
Cheung said the government will implement the measures as soon as possible after the LegCo approved the new fund.
The HKSAR government announced on Wednesday a relief package worth 24 billion Hong Kong dollars (3.1 billion U.S. dollars) to subsidize virus-hit businesses and individuals and improve anti-epidemic capacity, which, Cheung said, will be more targeted and precise in helping those in need.
The economic relief came as Hong Kong's jobless rate remained high at 6.1 percent from June to August, with the rate in consumption- and tourism-related sectors surging to 10.9 percent.
To prop up the struggling economy and ensure people's livelihood, the government has rolled out economic relief of more than 300 billion Hong Kong dollars in total. By the end of August, more than 78 billion Hong Kong dollars of relief had been distributed, benefiting over 4.3 million people and 450,000 businesses. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.75 HK dollars) Enditem