Tue, Jul 28, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Central government inspects land taken to cover Taipei debt

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Officials from the Taipei branch of the Administrative Enforcement Agency inspect the plaza in front of Taipei Main Station yesterday.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

The Ministry of Justice’s administrative agency yesterday inspected dozens of plots of land in Taipei City that were confiscated by the central government — to make up for the city government’s massive debts — to determine whether they were suitable to be auctioned off.

Taipei’s debts include money owed to the National Health Insurance and the Labor Insurance programs.

The administrative agency said it had confiscated 31 plots of land at the request of the Bureau of National Health Insurance. The bureau’s records show that Taipei City Government owes it NT$29.4 billion (US$1 billion).

Lee Wan-fen (李菀芬), director of the agency’s Taipei Branch, said the city government had said that much of the land was being used for official purposes, which would disqualify it for auction under the Compulsory Execution Act (強制執行法) and leave the agency unable to liquidate the assets.

Lee said the inspections were to measure the area of the plots of land and verify which were being used for official purposes.

The plots of land include a plaza near Taipei Main Station, police departments and schools.

Although the Taipei City Government drew up a plan in August to pay NT$23 billion in debts this year, it has only approved a budget of NT$5.2 billion toward the goal and only handed over NT$2.39 billion of that sum, or about 10 percent of what it proposed for the entire year, Lee said.

Lee said if any plots of land were not being used for official purposes, they would be auctioned off.

The estimated value of the seized lots is NT$12 billion.

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