Opposition KMT suggests changes to infrastructure plan

The China Post

By James Lo — The opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT) legislative caucus on Tuesday held a press conference to release the party’s version of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Government’s proposed “Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan.” The KMT’s rewrite comes ahead of a public hearing proposed plan that has been scheduled for Thursday. The draft of the plan is set to be reviewed by six different legislative committees. To emphasize the changes to the original, the KMT went as far as to criticize the ruling party in the name of the presser on Tuesday, calling the DPP government out for proposing an eight-year plan when President Tsai Ing-wen’s term as the nation’s leader was only four years. KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that since it is unclear if Tsai would be able to get re-elected, the DPP and the president should not have proposed an eight-year plan which could infringe on the rights of the next president. She also stated that DPP legislators had obviously forfeited their responsibilities in being unbiased while monitoring the plan, as they had constantly aimed to push the proposal forward without proper review. The KMT then proposed a total of 6 major revisions to the government’s original draft including; decreasing the execution of the 8 years plan down to 4, reducing the budget cap from NT$890 billion to NT$400 billion with no additional subsidies allowed, adding infant-safe and pollution-free environment plans, the enforcement of environmental assessments on infrastructure projects, the implementation of penalties during incidents where projects fall behind schedule and adding budget-enforcement regulations to monitor the use of given budgets. Wang said the cutting of the proposed budget had been included in the KMT amendment because Minister of National Development Council Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝) had previously revealed that some 85 percent of the proposed numbers had not gone through feasibility assessments before being added into the proposal.

As such, should such budgets pass through the Legislature without proper vetting, the financial impact it would have toward the future of the nation would be very damaging, Wang said.