Following complaints that the government was not paying enough attention to the nation’s cultural sector, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday announced the creation of a taskforce to bolster the cultural and creative industry.
Accompanied by several personalities from the cultural sector, Liu made the announcement during discussions on how to promote local culture at the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA).
A similar taskforce was created at the Ministry of Economic Affairs five years ago, but it has been idle for the past two years, CCA Minister Huang Pi-twan (黃碧端) said.
She said a taskforce led by Liu would integrate authorities from the cultural and creative industry into the ministry, the CCA and the Government Information Office. The latter is the regulatory agency for the movie, broadcasting, TV and publishing industries.
Some personalities called on Liu to put more emphasis on cultural advancement programs.
Hsu Po-yun (許博允), founder of the New Aspect Cultural and Education Foundation and an adviser to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), said the government should offer subsidies to students nationwide to encourage them to go to artistic performances or sports contests.
Yu Kuo-hua (于國華) of the Xue Xue Institute said the government should continue to increase subsidies for local art groups, which on average see losses of NT$500 million (US$14.72 million) every year.
Tseng Shu-cheng (曾旭正), the director-general of the Community Empowering Society, criticized the government for its proposed bill on regenerating farming villages, which has yet to be reviewed in the legislature.
The bill had discouraged many activists who showed concern for rural development, as did the manner in which the government handled the Lo Sheng Sanatorium, Tseng said.
“What we have seen from these events is that the government cares only about construction for the sake of economic development and disregards culture,” he said.