Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Blue camp pledges to negotiate over construction statute

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The proposed statute to increase investment in public construction (擴大公共建設投資條例) will be the first item to be discussed in today's legislative sitting, but not before being subjected to cross-party negotiations hosted by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

The statute is the legal basis for the government's ten key infrastructure projects budgeted at NT$500 billion over five years.

The statute is proposed mainly to circumvent a debt ceiling regulated by the Public Debt Law (公債法).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus aims to push this statute through as soon as possible, and it has also issued a mobilization order to its caucus members for today's sitting to maximize its advantage should the matter come to a vote today.

Meanwhile, the pan-blue camp said it stand by the principles of "no law-breaking, no boycotting and no opposing," and that it hoped to resolve any differences that it had with the DPP through negotiations.

"We still demand that the statute abide by the Budget Law (預算法) and the Public Debt Law," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Liao Feng-te (廖風德) said yesterday. But Liao said that the caucus had not issued its own mobilization order.

The pan-blue camp has insisted that the statute conform to the debt ceiling and that the budget for other construction projects, such as the Taipei and Kaohsiung MRT systems, not be included in the statute.

"We will put forward our own amended version tomorrow at the sitting if the DPP's version is still unlawful," Liao said.

"We hope to resolve our differences through negotiation," People First Party caucus whip Hsieh Chang-chieh (謝章捷) said yesterday.

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