Legislature passes special budget for phase 3 infrastructure program

01/19/2021 05:28 PM
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Infrastructure budget clears the legislative floor Tuesday with a pound of the gavel from Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (right).
Infrastructure budget clears the legislative floor Tuesday with a pound of the gavel from Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (right).

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan on Tuesday passed a special budget of NT$229.83 billion (US$8.2 billion) for a third term of the central government's forward-looking infrastructure development program.

The third phase of the program, which runs from 2021-2022, received the budget after a deduction of NT$169.65 million from the originally budgeted NT$230.01 billion.

An opposition Kuomintang (KMT) proposal to slash a NT$15.5 billion 5G allocation listed as a National Communications Commission subsidy for telecom was rejected, and that full amount has been included in the overall infrastructure budget.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) reported Oct. 6, 2020 at a legislative session that the funding for the third phase will be allocated to infrastructure projects slated to be completed by 2025 in an effort to speed up Taiwan's digital development and improve the allocation of resources for urban and rural infrastructure projects to boost the development of rural infrastructure.

Previously, the Legislature passed a special budget for the first phase of the program from 2017-2018, slashing the budget by NT$1.8 billion from the originally budgeted NT$108.9 billion, and approved NT$223 billion for the second phase from 2019-2020, with a cut of NT$4.5 billion from the originally budgeted NT$227.5 billion.

In a continuing effort to build infrastructure for national development over the next 30 years, the government launched the program on July 7, 2017, aimed at facilitating infrastructure for transportation, water supplies, green energy, smart technology and balancing advancements between urban and rural areas.

It is also designed to provide incentives to encourage more people to have children to reverse the country's declining birth rate, improve food safety and nurture talent to boost employment.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)

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