The legislature yesterday scheduled an extra session for Monday and Tuesday next week to deal with the Executive Yuan’s request that a recently passed amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act (地政士法) be reversed.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) on Monday asked lawmakers to reconsider the amendment, citing concerns that it might offset the government’s efforts to promote transparency in the estate market through a system that requires registry of an actual prices of real-estate transactions within 30 days of the transaction.
The amendment was passed by the legislature on Jan. 3 without any objections.
Under the amendment, land administration agents, who are responsible for reporting transaction prices accurately and on time or risk a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000, were given a seven to 15 day grace period before a fine would be imposed.
At a negotiation meeting called by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday afternoon, party representatives agreed that Jiang should attend a question-and-answer session on Monday and the legislature would hold a vote on the request to reconsider the amendment on Tuesday.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) called for Jiang to apologize to the legislature before he takes the podium to explain why the amendment must be repealed and take lawmakers’ questions.
“This kind of thing only happens to the Jiang Cabinet. The Cabinet is being ridiculous. The ruling party should take full blame,” Ker said.
This is the second time since Jiang became premier in February last year that he has invoked the premier’s constitutional right to request a reconsideration of legislation.
Jiang issued a reconsideration order in June to correct an amendment to the Accounting Act (會計法) after the Executive Yuan had endorsed a version of the amendment that omitted a clause regarding the decriminalization of accounting irregularities involving school faculty members that were caused by flawed reimbursement systems.
Jiang’s request for another reconsideration was absurd, given that the Executive Yuan had not raised any objections to the amendment about registering real-estate transaction prices since it clear a legislative committee and was sent for a vote on the legislative floor, the DPP said.
Even worse was that Jiang said he did not know the legislature had passed the amendment until he read about it in a newspaper, the DPP said.
Several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers have also expressed discontent with the Executive Yuan, but KMT Policy Committee chief executive Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said yesterday that party lawmakers must toe the party line on the reconsideration vote.
According to legislative rules, the reconsideration request will be rejected if at least half of all lawmakers vote against it in an open ballot vote. If more than half of all lawmakers vote in favor of the amended act, the premier should accept the result.
Also placed on the agenda for the extra session were proposals to amend the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法). However, lawmakers remained divided over four of the proposed articles regarding compensation claims, genetically modified foods, penalties for food producers who break the law and disclosure of ingredient flavorings.