Cabinet finalizes budget for infrastructure plan

The Cabinet on Monday passed a budget for the first stage of the government's forward-looking infrastructure plan. It will now be sent to the legislature for review.

The infrastructure plan is the Tsai administration's premier economic stimulus package. Last Wednesday, lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties reached a consensus to halve the budget to NT$420 billion (US$13.7 billion) and shorten the implementation period from eight to four years.

The Cabinet has spent the last several days reviewing its proposed budget allocations for between this September and the end of next year. Rural and urban development projects make up the largest category, with an earmark of NT$35.4 billion (nearly US$1.2 billion). The budget also covers digital development, green energy, as well as three new categories added this past week to deal with Taiwan's shrinking birthrate, food safety, and skills training.

The government has also allotted NT$17 billion (about US$560 million) to fund railway projects throughout Taiwan. Those projects include new light rail systems, subway lines, and plans to move rail tracks underground. Eastern Taiwan seeks to benefit the most in terms of the amount of money spent converting existing rail lines to electric service.

Source: Radio Taiwan International