People wearing masks shop at a mall in Hong Kong, Feb 10, 2021. (LO PING FAI/XINHUA)
HONG KONG – A Hong Kong government official said the Consumption Voucher Scheme rolled out in August has successfully boosted consumer sentiment, and the positive consumer mood is expected to continue in the second half of the year.
Answering queries from lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun at the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu said the overall response from the community was very positive since the first HK$2,000 e-voucher was disbursed to about 5.5 million eligible persons on Aug 1.
"The scheme is generally welcomed by the public and businesses, and has successfully boosted and stimulated consumer sentiment," Hui said.
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The government has estimated earlier that there would be around 7.2 million eligible persons for the scheme, involving about HK$36 billion.
Hui said the four stored value facility operators and a lot of shopping centers have seized the opportunity to introduce extra promotions to attract spending.
These additional promotions (launched by stored value facility operators and shopping malls) will reinforce the multiplier effect of the electronic consumption vouchers.
Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
“These additional promotions will reinforce the multiplier effect of the electronic consumption vouchers,” he said.
“As the consumption vouchers are disbursed in installments, we believe that the enthusiastic consumer sentiment will continue in the second half of the year, leading to growth of the local retail, catering and service sectors, and boosting the overall local economy,” Hui explained.
The government has earlier estimated that the scheme would boost local economic growth by 0.7 percent point.
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According to the scheme, the e-vouchers will be disbursed by two to three installments with different validity periods according to the choice of stored value facility made by the registrants.
Hui said the government will disburse the next batch of e-vouchers in the coming few months in accordance with the original schedule.
From Aug 1 to 22, the scheme’s hotline has received about 420 complaints, mainly related to the eligibility criteria, registration procedure, registration progress and disbursement of the e-vouchers, Hui added.