Thu, Oct 26, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Final stage of `Big Warmth' plan launched

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang, third left, and other Cabinet members clap their hands at a press conference in Taipei yesterday at which the Cabinet announced its ``Economic Development Vision 2015" aimed at creating more jobs and bridging the economic gap between urban and rural areas by 2015.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FONG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Cabinet yesterday introduced and launched the final stage of a set of economic development projects collectively called the "Big Warmth" plan.

The projects, to be implemented over a three-year period until 2009, are the first stage of the government's "Economic Development Vision 2015" plan.

NT$1.17 trillion

According to estimates, the cost for the projects will total NT$1.17 trillion (US$35.24 billion).

"This plan will help us build a Taiwan of prosperity, social justice and sustainability in the near future," said Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a press conference yesterday.

Under the plan, Su said the Cabinet has proposed five packages covering industrial development, financial markets, human re-sources, public construction and social welfare, with the goal of increasing investment, creating job opportunities, narrowing the rural-urban development gap and reducing wealth disparities.

The final mechanism of the plan announced yesterday was about public construction, and the government said it was planning to begin with water problems, including flooding, water reserves and water supplies.

"The mechanism starts with `water.' We are planning to spend NT$200 million to fix the water problems within three years," said Minister without Portfolio Wu Tze-cheng (吳澤成). "But the entire mechanism is actually a NT$728.9 billion plan for more public construction in the next three years, which will create more than 340,000 job opportunities."

In addition to water problems, the government is also planning to build more railways and roads, and to enhance the country's transportation network.

"Our end goal is to make it so that traveling between any two cities will take no longer than three hours in the future," Wu said. "This is the area where another NT$336.8 billion will be spent."

Recreation

The plan requires NT$192 billion to be spent on building more parks and public sports facilities over the next three years.

Su said he is planning to take advantage of the "Big Warmth" plan to make Taiwan a country where the inflation rate is lower than 2 percent, per capita income is US$30,000, the unemployment rate is lower than 4 percent and the economic growth rate is higher then 5 percent by the year 2015.

Su said the "Big Warmth" plan is a practical policy, which was developed during the Conference on Sustaining Taiwan's Economic Development, held in July.

Additional reporting by CNA

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