Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's Legislature on Thursday passed the central government's general budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, after cutting it by 1.2 percent to NT$1.9739 trillion (US$62.41 billion).
During the two-week extraordinary session, opposition lawmakers had put forward nearly 500 proposals for budget cuts but the number was reduced to 63 during cross-caucus negotiations that were chaired by Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全).
Lawmakers finally settled on a budget of NT$1.9739 trillion, cutting 1.2 percent from the government's estimates of NT$1.9979 trillion.
The government's 2017 budget showed a deficit of NT$132.9 billion plus an estimate of NT$74 billion for principal payments on government's debts, all of which it said would be made up means of loans.
At the end of the extraordinary legislative session, Su commended the party caucuses and the Legislature's staff for their efforts over the past two weeks to process major bills such as amendments to the Long-term Care Services Act and the Electricity Act and the budget bill.
This was achieved though rational communication, efficiency and order among the party caucuses, he said.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party holds 68 of the 113 seats in the Legislature, while the main opposition Kuomintang has 35, the New Power Party five, the People First Party three, and the Non-Partisan Solidarity Alliance and the independents one each.
The new legislative session will open after the Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 Lunar New Year holiday.
(By Wen Kui-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)