The Council for Economic Planning and Development yesterday approved a NT$175 billion (US$5.84 billion) budget for major public infrastructure projects next year, marking its lowest level in 10 years.
“The size of the budget for major public works next year is lower than the past few years,” Chen Lih-chuen (陳麗春), director--general of the council’s supervision and evaluation department, told a -media briefing.
Chen made the remark after the council invited officials from other government agencies to attend yesterday’s budget review.
Despite a lower budget, a deficit of at least NT$76.1 billion is still estimated for next year, the council said in a statement.
Chen said the council would ask the Executive Yuan to add NT$27.1 billion in funds to deal with several important projects that have not been included in the approved budget, such as the Nangang Biotechnology Park.
The NT$175 billion budget is expected to increase the nation’s real GDP by 1.02 percentage points next year and create up to 90,000 jobs.
However, the council said the nation’s financial difficulties would continue to affect the budget for major public projects over the next few years, with the deficit expected to stand at NT$132.2 billion, NT$94.4 billion and NT$86.7 billion respectively from 2014 to 2016.