Jul 19, 2017 Culture Comments Off on Budget for 1st stage of infrastructure plan clears initial reading
Taipei(CAN) A budget for the first stage of implementation of the government's forward-looking infrastructure plan cleared an initial reading in the Legislative Yuan Wednesday amid continuing clashes between lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).
The current extraordinary session of the Legislature ended that day, one day ahead of schedule, after the budget plan passed the first reading.
An another extraordinary session is scheduled for late August, and DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (???) said that the budget is expected to pass its second and final reading then.
Wednesday's meeting proceeded amid chaos, as KMT lawmakers continued their filibuster in a bid to prevent review of the budget, worth more than NT$100 billion (US$3.29 billion).
KMT lawmakers, who say the budget plan lacks careful planning and was overstated, continued to boycott it, claiming that the review violated a legal process and was unconstitutional.
At around 11 a.m., DPP lawmaker Wang Jung-chang (???), who presided over the joint review meeting held by seven committees, including the financial committee, kicked off the meeting by reading the content of the budget plan, but KMT lawmakers started throwing water balloons at him.
KMT lawmakers including the party's caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (???) scuffled with their DPP counterparts, shouting that the budget is a waste of money and urging the Legislative Yuan to reject it.
The conflict continued as the DPP lawmakers hit back, with KMT legislative caucus convener Lin Te-fu (???) sustaining a sprained wrist.
Last week, the Cabinet approved the budget plan of NT$108.90 billion as the phase-one implementation of the four year infrastructure plan for the period of September 2017-December 2018.
In the first stage, the Executive Yuan will spend NT$17.07 billion on rail transportation construction, NT$25.67 billion on improving the local water environment, NT$8.12 billion on green energy development, NT$16.17 billion on digital development, and NT$35.41 billion on urban and rural development.
In addition, the Cabinet will invest NT$1.96 billion on building a better environment for children, NT$310 million on safeguarding food safety, and NT$4.2 billion on cultivating talent.
The budget was written by the Executive Yuan after the Legislative Yuan passed a Special Budget Statute for Forward-Looking Infrastructure in early July.
The newly passed law allows the government to spend up to NT$420 billion over the next four years on the country's infrastructure, as well as high-tech development, in a bid to speed up the pace of economic growth.
The Executive Yuan is expected to write an additional budget for the rest of the four year plan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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