Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Yu touts planned infrastructure projects

CNA , Taipei

Premier Yu Shyi-kun, center, reports on the budget for the 10 major construction projects at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday the government's plan to launch "10 major construction projects" next year will contribute to the nation's overall annual economic growth by an estimated 0.6 percent.

Yu made the remarks while speaking at a legislative plenary session on a special budget plan for the "10 new major construction projects."

The premier told lawmakers that the Cabinet has appropriated NT$93.91 billion for a special budget for the "10 major construction projects," which will begin next year.

The special budget will be raised by selling NT$15 billion worth of government stakes in state-controlled Taiwan Power Co and floating NT$78.91 billion worth of state bonds.

Noting that Taiwan's economic growth for next year is projected at 4.56 percent, Yu said, the "10 new construction projects will contribute at least 0.26 percent to the nation's economic growth.

In addition, the premier said, the projects will help boost private investment and thus result in a 0.6 percent contribution to next year's total economic growth, if projections are correct.

Moreover, Yu said, the new major construction projects will help increase the government's tax revenues by NT$70 billion to NT$150 billion in the next five years.

As the government has worked out various complementary measures, Yu assured lawmakers that the projects will not "leave debts to posterity" as some critics have claimed.

In addition to quantitative economic effects, Yu said, the "10 major construction projects" will also contribute to upgrading manpower resources and economic quality as well as creating cultural value, enrich the daily life of local people and inspire technological advances.

According to the Cabinet's special budget plan, NT$10 billion will be earmarked for the top-rate university development plan; NT$1.4 billion for construction of a world-class arts center; NT$2.8 billion for the "Mobile Taiwan" plan; NT$2.2 billion for the Taiwan EXPO plan; NT$1.9 billion for the Taiwan railway modernization plan; NT$9 billion for the new expressways construction plan; NT$13.7 billion for the Kaohsiung Harbor intercontinental container terminal construction plan; NT$48 billion for mass rapid transit systems construction in northern, central and southern Taiwan; NT$3.4 billion for new sewer systems construction; and NT$400 million for construction of new reservoirs.

The aim of the "Mobile Taiwan" project is to set up the basic infrastructure to combine cellular phone network service, IT computer platforms, and broadband Internet links, Kao Tien-tzu, head of telecommunication and information section at the advisory group, was quoted as saying.

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