Taipei County to get most in stimulus funds


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei County in northern Taiwan will receive NT$9.6 billion of the NT$114.4 billion (US$3.74 billion) in state funds earmarked by the Executive Yuan to boost the local economy and public construction plans, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Deputy Chairman Huang Wan-hsiang said. Huang made the announcement when making public a list of the amounts local governments will receive under the plan. Taipei City will receive the second highest sum of NT$6.6 billion, followed by Taoyuan County at NT$4.9 billion. Taipei City and Taoyuan County are also in northern Taiwan.

The allocation of the fund is in proportion to the population of each local city and county, explaining why the populous Taipei City and Taipei and Taoyuan counties are slated to receive the biggest chunks.

Huang said, however, that the central government will integrate other resources and deliver additional economic grants to local governments after taking into account their execution abilities and finances.

Several opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) local government chiefs, including Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu and Kaohsiung County Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing, have complained about the way the funds are being distributed, contending that the system will only further sharpen the existing divide between northern and southern Taiwan.

In response to the criticism, CEPD officials stressed that the fund allocation list has not yet been finalized and could be adjusted to better meet local government demands for development.

According to the list released by the CEPD, Taichung County in central Taiwan is set to get NT$3.9 billion from the economic stimulus package, followed by Kaohsiung City at NT$3.8 billion and Changhua County at NT$3.3 billion.

Kaohsiung County would receive NT$3.1 billion, Tainan County NT$2.8 billion, Taichung City NT$2.6 billion and Pingtung County NT$2.2 billion.