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Arms procurement bill gains advancement but its funding stalled

Arms procurement bill gains advancement but its funding stalled

The Legislature agreed Friday to start committee review of an arms procurement bill but refused to take action on a supplementary defense budget to finance the purchase.
The opposition-dominated lawmaking body voted 194 to 162 in support of forwarding the military investment measure to National Defense Committee and Budget and Final Accounts Committee for review.
The bill would provide legal foundation for a NT$6.3 billion supplementary defense budget to assess the need of acquring diesel-fueled submarines, upgrade PAC II anti-missile systems, and purchase submarine-hunting aircraft for the first year. In addition, it would allow the proposed expansion of the airstrip on the remote Taiping Island.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers, seeking to facilitate the bill's passage, suggested putting the measure directly to its second reading. The motion failed to pass as opposition lawmakers insisted the committee review must not be skipped.
While willing to consider the arms purchase bill, the Legislature sent the proposed NT$6.3 billion budget back to the Procedure Committee, at the request of People First Party and Non-Partisan Solidarity Union lawmakers.
The largest opposition Kuomintang said the move was procedurally correct, noting that the government should always secure legal basis before asking money for a spending program.


Updated : 2021-05-09 22:52 GMT+08:00