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Private groups continue to boycott innovation bill

Private groups continue to boycott innovation bill

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Private activist groups that have been pressing for a boycott of the passage of an industrial innovation bill urged the legislature Monday to put the brakes on its passage and review it again "before it is too late." Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) legislators were scheduled to meet their counterparts from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) the following day for negotiations over the bill, which failed to clear the legislative floor in late March due to a filibuster by DPP lawmakers.
Wang Jung-chang, convener of the Fairtax Alliance, said the bill, which continues and expands concessionary tax rates for major industrial investors, is full of injustice and partiality.
"The bill is not only unfair to smaller business and industrial operators, it will also result in the depletion of the country's tax revenues," Wang contended.
Meanwhile, lawyer Chan Shun-kuei, who is a representative of the Taiwan Rural Front, said Article 10 of the industrial innovation bill, which relaxes restrictions on the establishment of industrial parks or zones, is the most controversial one.
Under that article, Chan said, any government agency, public enterprise or private individual can apply to develop and run an industrial park so long as a development plan is produced. The government will help acquire the land -- even state-owned tracts of land, he added.
"The bill is poised to allow big business conglomerates to steal the homelands of disadvantaged commoners through a land expropriation program," he claimed.
Chan urged the KMT-dominated legislature to suspend the passage of the bill and review the more controversial articles again.
He added that the Taiwan Rural Front will organize another press conference April 7 to allow potential victims to voice their outrage over the bill.
In response to the call from the private groups, Lin Yi-shih, head of the KMT Policy Committee, said the ruling party respects the opinions of those in the private sector, but he also invited them to look back to see how the domestic economy benefited from the Statute for Industrial Upgrading that expired at the end of 2009 and that also provided tax breaks to industrial investors from home and abroad.
The country might lose some revenue because of the tax incentives, he conceded, but added that the bill will also attract funds from abroad that will create job opportunities and generate more tax revenues.
(By Kelven Huang and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-05-10 09:47 GMT+08:00