Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 1 News List

KMT remains wealthiest party: report

FLUSH:While two companies whose assets have been frozen were the bulk of the NT$18.9 billion, the party had NT$910 million in real estate, as well as other assets

By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Ministry of the Interior Department of Civil Affairs Deputy Director Cheng Ying-hung, left, is accompanied by Deputy Minister of the Interior Lin Tzu-ling as he announces the release of the ministry’s 2017 Political Parties’ Assets and Finances report at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-feng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) last year declared NT$18.9 billion (US$618.54 million) in total assets and remains by far the nation’s richest political party, according to the Ministry of the Interior’s 2017 Political Parties’ Assets and Finances report released yesterday.

The annual report, which is mandated by the Political Party Act (政黨法), aims to make the finances of political parties more transparent, Deputy Minister of the Interior Lin Tzu-ling (林慈玲) said yesterday.

Of the parties that declared their finances, the Democratic Progressive Party was second-richest with NT$769 million in total assets, followed by the New Power Party — founded in January 2015 — with NT$25 million, the People First Party with NT$20 million and the New Party with NT$16 million, the report said.

The Executive Yuan’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee in 2016 designated Central Investment Co (中央投資) and its spin-off, Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台), as affiliated organizations of the KMT and froze the two companies’ assets through an administrative order, which the KMT has contested in an ongoing lawsuit.

The two firms were considered the KMT’s most valuable assets in yesterday’s report.

As of last year, Central Investment Co was worth NT$15.4 billion and Hsinyutai NT$200 million, a combined NT$400 million increase from 2015, the report said.

The KMT’s real-estate assets were estimated to be worth NT$910 million, a decrease of NT$9 million from 2015, it added.

The party’s overall expenditures last year totaled NT$2.22 billion, including personnel costs, which comprised the lion’s share of the expenses at NT$1.81 billion, the report said.

The regulations requiring political parties to disclose their finances to the government were drafted in 2006, but they did not initially include punitive measures for noncompliance and their implementation was delayed until last year, because many political parties were small and did not have proper financial records, the ministry said.

All parties were required to declare their assets by May 31, Lin said, but added that as of last month, the ministry had been unable to establish contact with 95 parties, calling on those parties to contact the ministry to safeguard their rights.

The ministry earlier this year vowed to step up efforts to communicate with political parties about the regulations and expectations of conduct under the act, he said.

As of last month, 163 of 301 registered parties had filed declarations, with 95 reports in compliance with the act, Lin said, adding that all parties should submit their final paperwork to the ministry before Jan. 15 next year.

The act stipulates that noncompliance by parties, or a refusal to file a declaration after notification has been served could result in fines of between NT$1 million and NT$5 million, the ministry said.

Parties whose reports require corrections and are not fixed within a given timeframe, or whose corrections have failed to meet ministry standards could face fines of between NT$200,000 and NT$1 million, the ministry said, adding that fines are issued per individual breach.

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