Thu, Oct 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet plans NT$25.4bn fund for human resources

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet said yesterday that it is planning to spend NT$25.4 billion (US$770 million) to improve the country's human resources.

"We need good quality human resources to boost the economy. We also need to attract more foreign professionals to contribute to this country as well. I think this mechanism can help make that happen," Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said during the weekly Cabinet meeting.

"This mechanism for human resources is part of the `Big Warmth' plan to make the dream of a US$30,000 per capita national income by 2015 come true," said Minister without Portfolio Lin Ferng-ching (林逢慶) at a press conference following the meeting.

The "Big Warmth" plan aims to reduce the gap between rich and poor. The NT$191.4 billion, three-year plan also aims to provide better care for the elderly and address the population decline.

Lin said that most of the NT$25.4 billion budget would be spent on education, including establishing colleges, graduate schools, more research institutions and more job training centers.

The government is also planning to provide more scholarship programs for foreign students who want to study in Taiwan. It will also encourage more Taiwanese students to study abroad.

"We need more professional personnel to boost this country's economy. To do that, we need to develop more domestic professionals as well as foreign ones," Lin said, adding that the government is planning to help 1,050 college graduates and graduate students to study abroad over the next three years.

At present there are 2,853 foreign students studying in Taiwan, Lin said, adding that by 2009, approximately 8,000 foreign students would be studying in local colleges.

Council of Labor Affairs Chairman Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) also promised a NT$10 billion budget for local workers to take professional seminars or training courses.

The Cabinet also introduced an amendment to the Organic Law of the National Communications Commission (國家通訊傳播委員會組織法, NCC), proposing that commission members would not need to receive legislative approval.

The amendment is aimed at redressing problems in the nomination process of NCC members, which the Council of Grand Justices ruled in July was against the Constitution.

When asked for comments, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said having the premier appoint NCC members would violate the NCC's organic law, because the commission is supposed to be an independent entity.

"Whether Su's suggestion is workable is up to the lawmakers," Wang said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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