Mon, Sep 12, 2016 - Page 3 News List

DPP, Cabinet to discuss priorities for legislation

DEREGULATION:DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said that revisions to the Electricy Act are needed for private companies to challenge Taiwan Power Co’s monopoly

By Tseng Wei-chen and Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporters

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus and an Executive Yuan negotiation team are to hold a meeting today to decide which draft bills will be given priority in the new legislative session starting tomorrow.

More than 20 draft bills are expected to be given priority, including amendments to the Housing Act (住宅法), the Electricity Act (電業法) and the pension system, sources said.

Priority bills that did not pass legislative review in the previous session are to be on the agenda, including a draft presidential transition act, a draft transitional justice act and draft amendments to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) they added.

A draft cross-strait agreement oversight act is not expected to be a main battleground during the new legislative session, as the Cabinet and DPP legislators believe it is not necessary to rush the legislation at a time when relations with China are unclear, the sources said.

Draft amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), which would implement a five-day workweek with a mandatory day off and a “flexible” rest day to unify workers’ leave, are likely to be a point of contention, because the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the New Power Party are against the amendments, they said.

The Executive Yuan aims to pass proposed amendments to the Labor Standards Act by the end of next month, but is prepared for delays in the review process, the sources said, adding that it is determined to pass the legislation.

The Cabinet would drop an additional 0.5 percent business tax that was proposed to fund long-term care services and would instead seek to fund the service through estate and gift taxes, the source said.

“Revision of the Electricity Act is key to the deregulation of the power industry and the success of the government’s anti-nuclear-power, development, energy and environmental protection policies,” DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

“The legislation has been disrupted and stigmatized, as the Taiwan Power Labor Union opposes it due to fears that Taiwan Power Co [Taipower] would be privatized and the union would be reorganized,” he added.

Ker said he backed legislation that seeking to deregulate the telecommunications and oil refining markets, adding that revisions to the Electricity Act are necessary to allow private power companies to break Taipower’s monopoly.

Priority bills proposed by the DPP caucus that passed the floor in the previous session include amendments to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act (災害防救法), the Income Tax Act (所得稅法) and the Local Government Act (地方制度法).

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