The government is planning to allocate an extra MOP 9.1 billion to shore up the economy and residents’ livelihoods.
Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said that the government will request an urgent debate and vote on the bill, The Macau Post Daily reported.
If the Legislative Assembly (AL) approves the request, the bill will not be reviewed by any of its standing committees before its final article-by-article debate and vote, which is slated to be carried out immediately after its outline is passed.
The government launched a four-pronged drive last month to boost employment, the local economy and people’s livelihoods by bringing its annual wealth-sharing scheme forward, promoting local consumption, upgrading the subsidised scheme to improve residents’ occupational skills, and introducing tax relief and exemption measures.
Cheong said that in order to upgrade the subsidised occupational skills improvement scheme and boost local consumption, and for the tax relief and exemption measures to take effect, the government has drafted a bill amending the 2021 budget.
According to Cheong, the amendment will also enable the government to cover its expenditure on Covid-19 prevention and control measures and for the construction of facilities on the Macao-side checkpoint zone of the mainland-Macao joint border checkpoint in Hengqin – which came into operation last August.
Late last year, the government drafted its 2021 budget based on its estimation of this year’s gross gaming revenue at MOP 130 billion, as the local economy, according to the government, would still need time to recover from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism and gaming in particular.
Financial Services Bureau Deputy Director Daisy Ho In Mui pointed out that the government has already allocated MOP 26.5 billion from its extraordinary reserves to keep a formally balanced budget, adding that the government would allocate a total of MOP 35.6 billion from its extraordinary reserves this year including the amounts in its proposed 2021 budget amendment.