Stalled budget bill to be handled in provisional session

Ruling lawmakers proposed yesterday that a provisional legislative session be held within this week to deal with the government's 2009 budget bill, which failed to clear the legislature in its most recent session because of the opposition's stonewalling tactics.
Lin Yi-shih, a whip of the Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus, said the caucus hopes the special session could begin as soon as today so that the budget bill could be passed by tomorrow.
Lin accused the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of blocking the bill at the expense of the country's economic development.
Without the bill's passage, he contended, subsidies for local governments and disadvantaged groups would have to be withheld.
The DPP, which holds only 27 of the total of 113 legislative seats, has insisted that the legislature scrutinize the budget bill strictly and cut the NT$1.83 trillion (US$55.45 billion) in projected spending by NT$60 billion.
With the majority KMT only agreeing to slash NT$18.3 billion in spending, the DPP decided to delay the process by putting 109 budget-related resolutions up for a vote on the final day of the last session on Tuesday.
Only after those bills were voted on could the budget bill as a whole be considered.
As of midnight Tuesday, 40 previously proposed budget resolutions had been decided, but the package of 109 resolutions had yet to be touched, making it impossible for a vote on the budget bill to take place before the session's end.
Ker Chien-ming, convener of the DPP caucus, argued that the process, which was unlikely to change anything, was intended to demonstrate "how the KMT is suppressing the DPP using legislative violence, " as the DPP is obviously in a disadvantageous position in the lawmaking body.
Ker said his party supports holding a provisional session to deal with the budget bill.
During the recently concluded session that began in September 2008, the legislative passed 68 pieces of legislation and three special budget bills.

Updated : 2021-01-25 19:27 GMT+08:00