The legislature yesterday passed the central government’s special NT$40.4 billion (US$1.3 billion) budget for flood prevention after cutting about NT$80 million out of it, although lawmakers allowed the government to take out loans to finance the fund.
The budget is part of the central government’s NT$116 billion special budget request package for flood prevention efforts in -flood-prone areas — which represent an area of about 1,160km2 — and is part of the Special Act for Flood Management (水患治理特別條例) passed in 2006.
The act also empowers the government to request and to meet the NT$116 billion budget within eight years.
UNDER CENTRAL CONTROL
The legislature also approved a binding resolution proposed by lawmakers across party lines putting flood prevention work at Taimali River (太麻里溪) in Taitung County directly under the supervision of the central government.
The resolution was proposed after rains brought by Typhoon Fanapi in September caused the river to burst its banks, leaving the Taimali area seriously flooded.
The resolution said despite the substantial funding the Taitung County Government had received, it had struggled to prevent flooding, something it attributed to the county having just six professionals managing the 29 rivers under its jurisdiction.
The approval came after negotiations got off to a bad start on Monday when a fight erupted between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) when Fai said Pan was trying to provide benefits to specific solar power companies in Pingtung.
Pan had mentioned a plan by the Pingtung County Government to install solar power panels at farms in Linbian (林邊) and Jiadong (佳冬) townships, which were seriously flooded in August 2009. The plan was aimed at helping the local agriculture sector transform into other industries.
Pan and Fai threw objects at each other, while colleagues from both sides tried to prevent the fight from escalating.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) told reporters yesterday that legislators should make peace and complete negotiations of the government’s fiscal budget request. The legislature is scheduled to go into recess after passing the budget proposal today.
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