Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) The Executive Yuan passed the 2020 central government budget Thursday, giving the green light to the NT$411.3 billion (US$13.1 billion) in spending proposed by the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
The MND budget comprises NT$358 billion in national defense needs and NT$53.3 billion in special funds for non-profit purposes, both of which are historic highs, said Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民).
It is estimated that the MND budget will account for 2.3 percent of Taiwan's gross domestic product, up 0.2 percentage points from 2019, he said.
According to Chu, the NT$358 billion national defense budget is NT$17.5 billion higher than in 2019, an increase of 5.2 percent.
Stable growth in the national defense budget will help boost the country's military buildup and a long-term program to acquire advanced weapons from other countries, the MND said.
Earlier Thursday, the Executive Yuan allocated NT$2.1 trillion for both central government revenue and expenditure in 2020 -- the first time since 1999 a balanced budget has been achieved.
The 2020 central government spending will mainly go to public construction projects, technology development plans and national defense, according to DGBAS data.
The proposed central government budget still needs to be approved by the Legislative Yuan.