Tue, Nov 07, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmaker proposes halting CEPD subsidies

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE Lai Shyh-bao's proposal to stop age-old payments given to top officials of the council received support, but not for the wording used

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator proposed yesterday that special subsidies for four top Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) officials paid out of the Chung Mei Economic and Social Development Fund be withdrawn once and for all.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said that after next year, the special subsidies should not be paid to CEPD Chairman Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正) and three CEPD vice chairmen as all four already receive "enviable" special subsidies every month in addition to their salaries.

Budget screening

Lai made the proposal during a legislative session in which the council's annual budget for next year was screened.

In the CEPD-drafted annual budget for next year, NT$33.78 million (US$1 million) was allocated for 194 staff members, including Hu and the three vice chairmen, to be paid as special subsidies from the Chung Mei Fund and NT$1.03 million was allocated exclusively for the four top officials.

The Chung Mei Economic and Social Development Fund was established with leftover funds after relief money granted by the US government was spent on various improvement projects during the 1950s.

The fund was then put under the management of the CEPD, which in turn sought talented technocrats and specialists to join the CEPD to work for national development and reconstruction. The CEPD offers special incentive subsidies to these new recruits using the fund.

Responding to Lai's suggestion, Hu said that the Chung Mei subsidies were a long-time tradition, but he would not object if the payments to the four officials were stopped.

Unacceptable

Chang Ching-sen (張景森), a CEPD vice chairman, said he could accept no longer receiving the subsidy, but he took exception to the terms Lai had used in his proposal, such as "corruption" and "wanting top CEPD officials to spit out what they have enjoyed."

In his proposal, Lai did not propose stopping the Chung Mei subsidies for the other 190 CEPD staff members, on the grounds that they did not receive any other special subsidies.

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