Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Special session gets off to slow start

LONG WAY TO GO The DPP agreed to the agenda suggested by the pan-blue camp and presented its own version of the controversial referendum legislation

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Yu Shyi-kun, left, gestures yesterday during an interpellation session at the legislature as Minister of Finance Lin Chuan listens.

PHOTO: AP

A special three-day legislative session began yesterday with compromise on the agenda but little progress was made in the review of six economic stimulus bills and a referendum law.

The DPP legislative caucus agreed to a pan-blue camp proposal under which the referendum issue would be the second item to be discussed, thereby avoiding a divisive vote at the beginning of the session.

"The DPP caucus accepted the legislative speaker's suggestion to endorse the opposition's opinion as a show of goodwill to get the six financial bills passed," DPP legislative whip Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.

Legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) announced the order the bills would reviewed:

-- draft statute governing the establishment and management of free ports (自由貿易港區設置及管理條例草案).

-- referendum law.

-- revisions to the Statute Regarding the Establishment and Management of the Financial Reconstruction Fund (金融重建基金設置及管理條例).

-- draft agricultural financial law (農業金融法草案).

-- draft statute regarding real-estate securitization (不動產證券化條例草案).

-- amendments to the Statute Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例).

-- draft organic law for the Executive Yuan's financial monitoring and management committee (金融監督管理委員會組織法草案).

The session's first day included a report by Premier Yu Shyi-kun on the importance of the bills.

Three of the six economics bills -- the free-port legislation, real-estate securitization and amendments to the cross-strait statute -- were the result of a consensus between the main parties at the 2001 Economic Development Advisory Conference, Yu said.

"Passage of the other three bills ... has attracted the interest of overseas investors as a key to realize the country's pledge of improving international competitiveness," Yu said.

Passage of the bills would help the country achieve its long-term plan of national reconstruction in the post-SARS period, the premier said.

"For example, an estimated 170,000 jobs will be created in five years following the establishment of free-trade harbors in this country. A NT$1 trillion increase in the total volume of trade is also expected," Yu said.

The DPP caucus finally presented its draft referendum bill yesterday evening after inter-party negotiations.

The proposed referendum law integrated opinions from an existing bill drafted by DPP Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮).

The DPP draft bill stipulates that a nationwide referendum can be implemented for issues initiated by citizens, significant national policies and amending the Constitution.

The DPP will also clearly state issues that should not, for the time being, be decided through referendums.

Also see stories:

Poll supports session, referendums

DPP works with Chai on revised referendum bill

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