President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) pledged again yesterday to carry out his “6-3-3” economic policy, while promising that his administration would reflect upon its performance in the face of growing anger.
One day after offering apologies to the public for failing to explain the policy clearly in a recent interview with a Mexican newspaper, Ma yesterday brushed off concerns that he would be unable to follow through with his plans.
“We did not give up the ‘6-3-3’ policy and the campaign promise was not broken. The government will do its best to carry out the policy,” Ma said during a meeting with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members in Tainan County.
The “6-3-3” economic policy, which refers to an annual GDP growth of 6 percent, an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent and annual per capita income of US$30,000, was a major campaign platform presented by Ma during the presidential election.
The Ma administration’s ability to carry out the policy, however, has been called into question after the president acknowledged during an interview with Mexican daily Sol de Mexico late last month that the three goals may not be achievable until 2016 because of the global economic slowdown.
During the meeting yesterday, some urged Ma to fulfill his campaign promises to improve the economy and tackle corruption, while warning him of consequences if his administration failed to carry out its policies.
“If President Ma does not show determination and does not clamp down on corruption, I think the KMT should drop out from the elections for local government heads next year. President Ma can also forget about re-election in 2012,” a KMT member said.
Ma reiterated his defense yesterday, saying the goal of raising income to US$30,000 had always been targeted for 2016. Ma said he had planned to achieve annual GDP growth of 6 percent in two years, but he would now seek to achieve those goals by the end of his term in 2012 because of the global economy.
Meanwhile, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) defended the Cabinet’s efforts to improve the economy yesterday at a meeting of KMT local government heads in Changhua County. Liu urged the public to have faith in the government.
In response to the stock market’s plunge below 7,000 points last week, Liu said that only by strengthening economic fundamentals could the stock market improve.
Liu said the policies, including domestic demand expansion projects and energy-saving measures, all aimed to improve the economy in the long run, adding that the government is confident the market would rise in the fourth quarter.
The Cabinet vowed on Friday to present a proposal in the coming week and formulate “miracle cures” to lift the slumping market.