Fri, Dec 28, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Six mayors, premier discuss budgets

CABINET SUPPORT:The New Taipei City and Kaohsiung mayors asked for funding for transportation projects, while the Taichung mayor focused on air-quality issues

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Premier William Lai, left, shakes hands with Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu yesterday during a meeting at the Executive Yuan in Taipei.

Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan

Following their inauguration on Tuesday, the mayors of the six special municipalities yesterday attended a meeting of the Executive Yuan in Taipei and tendered their proposals for central government funding for local projects.

New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) submitted a budget proposal asking the central government to fund the municipality’s mass public transportation projects.

Hou’s proposal seeks to build three circular MRT lines linking New Taipei City to Taoyuan and Taipei, with the addition of six other lines — an extension of the light rail system in Bali District (八里); a light rail system in Tamsui; a line connecting Wugu District (五股) to Taishan District (泰山); one in Shenkeng District (深坑); one in Ankeng District (安坑); and a Minsheng-Sijhih line.

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) also requested funding for transportation projects, in particular an extension of the metro service in Kaohsiung to Lujhu (路竹) and Linyuan (林園) districts.

Han said he had separated the Kaohsiung MRT project into three categories based on their urgency: the Red, Blue and Green lines, in ascending order.

Sharing his experiencing in seeking central government support, Premier William Lai (賴清德), a former mayor of Tainan, said that if local policies dovetail with central government policies, it would not only facilitate requests for funding, but would also ensure that such policies would be carried out at the local level.

Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said that reducing the number of thermal power plants would help ameliorate poor air quality in Taichung.

Lai replied that the central government would abide by the results of a referendum on the issue last month, adding that the Ministry of Economic Affairs is conducting an overall review of the nation’s energy policy and would inform local governments after completing the task.

The meeting between Lai and the six municipal mayors was amicable, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said.

The central government will offer its support to policies previously agreed upon and party affiliation will not be a factor, Kolas quoted Lai as saying.

“Neither the central government nor the local governments can shoulder the development of the nation’s infrastructure or economy alone; it must be a joint effort,” she quoted the premier as saying.

All mayors expressed their concern over government efforts to prevent African swine fever from spreading to Taiwan, Kolas added.

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