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Legislature passes 2009 budget bill

Legislature passes 2009 budget bill

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan finally passed the government's 2009 budget bill Thursday after cutting its projected expenditure by NT$20.3 billion to NT$1.81 trillion (US$54.85 billion).
The budget bill was passed at a provisional session after the legislature failed to finalize its screening on the last day of its just-concluded regular session Tuesday because of stonewalling tactics by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
The Executive Yuan originally proposed an annual increase of 6.9 percent for its 2009 spending and the ruling Kuomintang-controlled legislature slashed only the NT$20.3 billion, seen as a purely symbolic amount.
On the revenue side, the Executive Yuan proposed a 5.2 percent increase from the 2008 level, but the legislature axed the revenue target to NT$1.65 trillion for 2009.
The budget gap will be bridged with a surplus of NT$9.78 billion left over from 2007 and the central bank's annual earnings of NT$23 billion.
With the smooth passage of the budget bill, the curtain fell on the provisional legislative session Thursday, a day before originally scheduled.
(By Sofia Wu)