Sat, Jun 12, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Legislature passes pension measure

THE SOUND AND THE FURY On the final day of the current legislative session, a number of bills were finally approved, including a major government reform law

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The final day of the legislative session was a satisfactory one, the Democrat-ic Progressive Party (DPP) declared, with the passage of a one-year extension for the Financial Restructur-ing Fund (金融重建基金) and the Special Statute for Increasing Investment in Public Construction (擴大公共建設投資特別條例).

The Laborers' Pension Law (勞工退休條例) also passed.

Legislators settled for a law in which employers must deposit no less than 6 percent of employees' monthly salaries into individual employees' retirement fund accounts.

The law also stipulates that for for funds that would have been incurred in the five-year period before the law becomes effective, the employer must deposit an equivalent amount into a common retirement fund managed by the government.

The Financial Restructuring Fund passed as expected after the Ministry of Finance agreed to KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao's (李全教) demand that 20 percent of the fund should be allocated to deal with bad loans generated by farmers' and fishermen's associations.

With the passage of the public construction statute, the government can circumvent the debt ceiling and can make a special budget of up to NT$500 billion for the 10 Major Infrastructure Projects.

The budget for the Taipei and Kaohsiung mass rapid transit (MRT) systems can also be prepared using this budget.

The caucuses had reached agreement on all the articles of the statute except Article Five before the session started yesterday, and when it came to voting in the afternoon, all of the legislative caucuses -- with the exception of a few rogue legislators -- voted for the same version, which allowed the MRT systems to secure their funding from the special budget.

The legislature also passed a new amendment to the Tap Water Law, which increases fees for the use of tap water, and a new Securities Investment Trust and Counsel Law (証券投資信託及顧問法) to increase the variety of securities products and regulate overseas financing (境外基金).

The legislature also passed the Organic Standard Law of the Central Government Agencies (中央政府機關組織基準法), which reduces the current 35 government departments to 22.

The new law regulates that the Executive Yuan can only have 22 departments: 13 ministries, 4 commissions and councils and 5 independent institutions.

The new law also gives the legislature the right to approve the heads of the five independent departments, including the Central Election Commission.

The Executive Yuan must now revise the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) within three months, and send an amended version for legislative review.

The organic laws of other departments which conflict with the new law will need to be reviewed by the legislature within one year of the adoption of the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan.

According to the law, the head of an independent institution will be nominated by the premier and approved by the legislature through a simple majority of the legislators present at the sitting.

An amendment to the Financial Holding Company Act (金融控股公司法) was also passed to stipulate that a subsidiary with shares in its parent company will not be able to exercise most of its shareholder's rights, including voting at shareholders' meetings.

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