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Central government budget stalled by failure to hold extra session

Central government budget stalled by failure to hold extra session

Legislators decided on Monday not to hold an extra legislative session after they failed to agree on its agenda. The decision has prompted heavy criticism from high-ranking government officials.
Making the decision during inter-party negotiations, the legislators, however, agreed that they will review priority bills on March 2 and March 5, the first two floor sessions scheduled for the next legislative session.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party had requested that an extra session be held during the current recess period to review the government's 2007 budget bill and other important bills, which were held up as the last session ended fruitlessly in partisan bickering on January 19 over the listing of an opposition-initiated draft law on the organization of the Central Election Commission as the first bill on the agenda.
Despite the DPP's objections, the main opposition Kuomintang insisted that the CEC bill must be dealt with first if an extra session were to be held.
In response to the failure to hold the proposed extra session over legislators' disagreement on its agenda, Premier Su Tseng-chang on Monday accused the KMT of ignoring the people's livelihood and stalling the country's economic development by putting off the government's 2007 budget bill.
Directing the blame at KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, Su urged the people to pay attention to this problem and condemn Ma for allowing such a matter to happen under his party leadership.
Noting that it is stipulated in the Budget Law that the central government's budget proposal should be passed one month before the next fiscal year starts, namely by the end of November, Su said it will be five months late when the budget plan is considered in March.
According to Su, as the budget bill has not been passed, the government has no way of making the necessary investment in the country's development projects, which he said will hamper economic development and increase the unemployment rate.
While the government's budget bill was always placed at the top of the legislature's agenda in the past, this was the first time that the bill was not passed during the designated session, Su said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Annette Lu on Monday accused the Legislature of "violating the Constitution" by stalling the government's 2007 budget bill.
Lu said confrontation between the ruling and opposition camps since 2000 has resulted in a distortion of constitutional order, but there is no precedent in which the government's budget proposal has not been passed within a designated legislative session.
Noting that it is a basic duty of legislators to review the government's budget proposal, Lu claimed that it is a serious case of constitutional violation for legislators to refuse to review the bill.
Lu demanded that Ma help the country "maintain constitutional order."


Updated : 2021-05-11 06:57 GMT+08:00