The Ministry of Finance yesterday denied a Chinese-language newspaper report that said the IMF had warned the government that it could face bankruptcy if hit by a natural disaster or economic crisis.
\nWhile the central government's outstanding debt stood at NT$3.4 trillion as of last month, or 33.4 percent of GDP, the number hasn't exceed the 40 percent debt-raising ceiling stipulated by laws, the National Property Bureau said in a statement.
\nThe bureau said the country's 33.4 percent governmental debt is relatively small compared to other countries, noting that the rate for the US was 34.6 percent, while Japan's was 106.5 percent and the UK was 49.9 percent.
\nWhile the government's fixed revenue incomes, such as taxes, were restricted by the economic recession to between 12 percent and 14 percent of GDP, the government has had no problem allocating and implementing annual budgets yet, the bureau said.
\nAccording to the newspaper report, the IMF said that if the government continues to run deficits every year, coupled with a steadily graying population -- meaning fewer people paying taxes and more receiving welfare benefits -- the government could face financial collapse if struck by a natural disaster or an economic crisis.
\nFor any emerging government whose outstanding deficits reach 34 percent, an 8.5 percent economic growth rate would be required to offset the governmental liabilities, according to the fund.
\nThe government has predicted a 3.06 percent growth rate for this year, compared to 3.59 percent last year.
\nIn responding to lawmakers' questions about the government's financial difficulties, Premier Yu Shyi-kun told the Legislative Yuan yesterday that the administration had set a goal of achieving a balanced budget in five to 10 years.
\nDuring an interpellation ses-sion, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (
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