Fri, Dec 20, 2002 - Page 10 News List

Premier requests NT$70 billion for public works effort

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Premier Yu Shyi-kun is asking the Legislature to approve NT$70 billion (US$2 billion) in public works spending and allow the government to increase already record debt, a day after Standard & Poor's made it more costly for the government to borrow.

The proposed spending will boost economic growth in 2003 to 3.52 percent from a forecast 3.38 percent, the Cabinet said in a statement. The projects aim to provide work for 75,000 people and lower the jobless rate to 4.5 percent from 5.1 percent.

"The government is planning on short-term fixes to make themselves look good before the 2004 presidential election," said Simon Chao, who manages NT$700 million at President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信).

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