The Legislative Assembly’s (AL) Follow-up Committee for Public Finance Affairs will continue to monitor the government’s immovable property, especially when the government is running a budget deficit this year, the head of the committee, Mak Soi Kun, told reporters on Tuesday.
Mak briefed reporters after a closed-door meeting of the committee on Tuesday at the Legislative Assembly Building in Sai Van.
According to Mak, the closed-door meeting covered topics such as the status of investment projects developed by Macau Investment and Development Limited (MID) and the use of properties rented and held by the government.
Mak said after discussing the topics, the committee made several suggestions for the government and would continue to follow-up the discussed topics.
Macau Investment and Development Limited has been set up by the government to participate in regional trade cooperation and investment projects to contribute to the sustainable development of Macao’s economy, according to the company’s website.
According to Mak, on the topic of the status of investment projects, the committee urged the government to complete its research on the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Cooperation between Guangdong and Macao (GMTCM Park) in Hengqin and create a clear investment and development plan for the project.
According to the project’s website, GMTCM Park was officially launched in 2011, marking the first project implemented in the Guangdong and Macao Cooperation Industrial Zone. “The park is located in a hi-tech zone of Hengqin New Area, covering an area of 500,000 square metres”, the website points out.
Mak also noted that in the last three years government expenditure on office, storage and parking space has exceeded MOP 800 million annually. He said the committee also encouraged the government to discard outdated items, use computer software to track the usage of current storage and office space and maximise the utilisation of idle government properties.
Mak pointed out that some contracts for the government’s rented properties may not be able to be renewed, suggesting that the government should come up with a medium-to-long term solution for this problem. He added that relocating government offices might confuse the general public. Mak said the committee suggested that the government build new properties instead of seeking new rental properties, in order to have more permanent locations.
Mak said the committee suggested that when the government collects information about idle properties, it should note the amount of time it has been left idle, the reason why it is idle and to determine if the reason is valid to minimise unnecessary expenses on rent.
Mak stressed that the government is running a budget deficit this year, yet it still has a lot of unoccupied rented properties. The government should monitor the properties and maximise their usage, Mak said.