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Government to borrow NT$516.2b to make ends meet

New cabinet makes minor adjustments to the budget bills and passes them at its weekly meeting

The government will have to borrow a record amount of NT$516.2 billion (US$15.93 billion) next year to help make ends meet, according to three budget plans passed by the Executive Yuan yesterday.
The three budget proposals, including the central government's 2010 budget bill, had already been sent to the Legislative Yuan for screening by the previous Cabinet, but were withdrawn after Premier Wu Den-yih assumed office, out of respect for the legislature.
The other two budget plans are a special budget bill for public infrastructure construction projects as part of an economic stimulus package, and a special budget plan for reconstruction in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot.
In response to mounting public calls for thrift, the new Cabinet made some minor adjustments to the budget bills and passed them at its weekly meeting yesterday. The bills will soon be referred to the legislature for deliberation and approval.
The mildly adjusted central government 2010 budget plan still projects its annual revenues at NT$1.552 trillion, but the amount does not include a previously projected sum of NT$23.66 billion from planned sales of Taiwan Financial Holdings Corp. shares and the financial gap will be covered by anticipated increases in tax revenues following an economic recovery.
The projected government expenditure is trimmed to NT$1.735 trillion from the original NT$1.7398 trillion in response to calls for a suspension of a controversial hydraulic project and a military construction project.
According to the budget plan, spending on education, science and cultural development accounts for the lion's share of the government expenditure for 2010 at 20.3 percent; followed by social welfare spending at 18.8 percent; defense expenditure at 16.6 percent; and spending on economic development at 12 percent.
Defense expenditure will make up 2.99 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), roughly meeting the government's commitment to raise the amount to at least 3 percent of the GDP.
The special budget for infrastructure construction projects to boost the economy remains unchanged at NT$192.2 billion and the special budget for post-typhoon reconstruction also remains at NT$120 billion.
According to the budget plans, the government will incur a budget deficit of NT$183 billion in 2010.
In addition, it has to repay NT$66 billion in previous debts as well as raise funds for the above-mentioned special construction projects. As a result, the government will have to borrow up to NT$516.2 billion next year, which is a record high.

Updated : 2021-10-17 19:42 GMT+08:00