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Premier OKs 2019 central government budget proposal

2018/08/16 16:57:03

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德, left)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) approved Thursday the central government budget plan for 2019, which shows expenditure of NT$2.022 trillion (US$65.65 billion), the first time it has topped the level of NT$2 trillion.

According to Lai, the projected expenditure next year is up 2.8 percent, or NT$55.1 billion, over the 2018 level. Of the total, NT$492.2 billion will be earmarked for spending on social welfare programs, followed by NT$422.8 billion for education, science and culture, NT$329.5 billion for national defense and NT$248.2 billion for economic development.

High on the government's agenda will be the second phase of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, which will be funded by an allocation of NT$227.5 billion, Lai said at a news conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The proposed central government revenue of NT$1.977 trillion marks a 3 percent increase, or NT$57.8 billion, over the year-earlier level, Lai added.

The premier attributed the growth to stable economic recovery in recent years that has seen the national coffers take in an additional NT$54.6 billion in tax income and NT$5 billion in earnings by the state-owned stock National Stabilization Fund.

The budget proposal will be referred to the Legislative Yuan for review by the end of this month.

(By Ku Chuan and Flor Wang)