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LCQ11: Compensation cases of Wah Kai Industrial Centre

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (April 9):

Question:

In 1999, the Government resumed the land of Wah Kai Industrial Centre under the relevant provisions of the Railways Ordinance (Cap. 519). I have learnt that a number of former factory operators of the industrial building have not yet reached any compensation agreement with the Government. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of (i) the number of claims made by the aforesaid factory operators, as well as the numbers of cases for which compensation (ii) has been paid and (iii) has not been paid by the authorities, and set out a breakdown by type of compensation in Table 1;

Table 1
--------

Type of compensation        (i)   (ii)   (iii)
-------------------------        ---   ----   -----
Property compensation
Removal allowance
Extinguishment allowance

(2) in respect of the number of cases for which compensation has been paid, of a breakdown by type of compensation (i.e. (i) property compensation, (ii) removal allowance and (iii) extinguishment allowance) as well as the grouping to which the amount of compensation belongs (set out such information in Table 2); and

Table 2
-------

Amount of compensation
(ten-thousand dollars)    (i)   (ii)   (iii)
--------------------------    ---   ----   -----

Less than 50
50 to 99
100 to 199
200 to 299
300 or above

(3) given that some factory operators have alleged that they co-owned the public toilets in Wah Kai Industrial Centre, whether the authorities will compensate the owners concerned for the resumption of such ownerships; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

I reply to the various parts of the question as follows:

(1) The Government resumed Wah Kai Industrial Centre in 1999 under the provisions of the Railways Ordinance (Cap. 519). As at March 25, 2014, the Lands Department (LandsD) has processed 954 compensation cases, of which 577 are land interest compensation cases, and 377 are business loss compensation cases.  Agreement has been reached and the full amount of compensation collected for 838 cases, which includes 513 land interest cases and 325 business loss cases. Notwithstanding this, 112 out of the 116 cases which have yet to reach an agreement as to the amount of compensation have had the provisional payment collected, while the claimants of the four remaining cases have not yet responded to the compensation offer.

(2) With regard to compensation in relation to Wah Kai Industrial Centre, an amount of about $767,530,000 for compensation and related payment has been paid as at March 25, 2014.

As regards the breakdown and grouping of cases by type and amount of compensation requested by the question, the Government does not compile the statistics of the vast number of cases in terms of the level of compensation. Also, a considerable portion of the affected parties collect their eligible compensation in installments rather than in one go, while some cases would also involve provisional payment. As such, the Government is unable to categorise all compensation cases according to the forms prescribed in the question. Moreover, compensation claims for business loss cases are generally assessed on the basis of relocation of business and extinguishment of business. For the cases whereby agreement has been reached, a large portion of claimants have already accepted the Government's compensation offer, calculated based on established mechanism and with ex-gratia allowance elements included, before they submitted or established their basis of claim. As for business loss cases with agreement not yet reached, the Government is still pending claimants' submission of claims and the relevant information and justifications supporting their claims. For the above reasons, the Government is unable to distinguish the basis of compensation for the above-mentioned cases and categorise these compensation cases according to the form prescribed in the question.

(3) According to the Deed of Mutual Covenant of Wah Kai Industrial Centre, public toilet facilities form part of the common area and are not assigned undivided shares. As a result, the Government cannot offer stand-alone compensation to the above-mentioned areas. Notwithstanding this, the common use value of the common area has been reflected in the land interest compensation of all units.


Ends/Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:30

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