Cabinet to give NT$17.5 bil. more for infrastructure
By Lauly Li ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet yesterday said that it approves of the 2014 budget proposal, which will total NT$1.9407 trillion in spending, including a 10-percent increase of NT$17.5 billion for infrastructure.
August 13, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday morning held an annual budget presentation with the Finance Ministry and Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).
According to a press statement, the Cabinet has “basically” approved the Finance Ministry's budget proposal, which has estimated revenue of NT$1.7308 trillion and estimated expenditure of NT$1.9407 trillion.
Jiang said he has given the DGBAS the go-ahead to review and adjust the budget should there be any minor details that need attention.
The Cabinet said the NT$209.9 billion revenue shortfall and NT$64 billion that will spent to pay off existing government debt (together totaling NT$273.9 billion) will be covered with the issuing of government bonds and with future budget surpluses.
In order to make up the shortfall, the Finance Ministry has proposed selling stock in, among others, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), Mega Financial Holding Co. (兆豐金控) and China Steel Corp. (中鋼). This plan was not discussed by the Cabinet yesterday, according to spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文).
The estimated revenue for 2014 is NT$2.5 billion less than 2013, a decrease of 10 percent. Yet, in sharp contrast, spending in this year's budget is 1.7-percent higher.
The Cabinet said that increased spending is mainly going toward infrastructure and the 12-year compulsory education system. It is hoped the extra funding for infrastructure projects will in turn boost the country's economic development.
The Cabinet said it will supervise any state-owned fund operation agency to maximize its revenues, reduce losses, strengthen management and raise profit-earning capabilities.
Jiang said he hopes all departments can appreciate the government's current financial situation and “properly” make use of the funds allotted by the budget.
For any major development project not covered by the budget, Jiang urged relevant departments to review the project as soon as possible and make use of the current budget allowance.
The budget proposal will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for review before the end of August.