Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Politicians must boost investment

By Lin Chia-cheng 林嘉誠

Over the past few months, water shortages, leakage prevention and recycled water have attracted considerable attention. Water prices have not been adjusted in more than a decade, and the debt-laden Taiwan Water Corp has cut back on investment in leakage prevention and pipe replacement, as central government subsides have been reduced.

The government does not need to be so hands-on. It is impossible to rely on the government and state-owned enterprises to bear all the responsibility for infrastructure projects. However, the government is still playing the role of master planner such as in developing renewable energy sources, recycling water, and running sewage networks and sewage treatment facilities, which urgently need attention. Cooperation between the central and local governments, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, and speeding up investment, remain issues.

Government efficiency is still the most important factor to investment. The party that has a chance of winning next year’s presidential election has a responsibility to submit rational policies. Confrontations between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party have caused serious damage to administrative efficiency and willingness to invest. Political factors that have a negative impact on investment must be reduced, while Taiwanese must demand that the nation’s politicians propose concrete, viable options for investment.

Lin Chia-cheng is a university professor and former minister of examinations.

Translated by Zane Kheir

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