DPP lawmakers block amendment to stock tax

DANGERS: The legislature also yesterday passed an amendment to the Statute Regulating Firearms, Ammunition, Knives and Other Deadly Weapons

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Nov 08, 2008 - Page 4

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday blocked a government-sponsored amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法) that would have cut the 0.3 percent stock transaction tax in half to boost the stock market.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus planned to get the bill passed yesterday after placing it on the agenda for a second reading last Friday, even though it hadn’t received a preliminary review from the legislative committee.

But the DPP caucus proposed a motion that would refer the bill to the legislature’s Finance Committee for preliminary review — a regular review process that bills are supposed to go through — meaning the bill will have its second reading next month at the earliest.

The legislative session passed an amendment to the Gender Equality in Employment Law (性別工作平等法), raising the punishment for employers in violation of regulations on adopting precautionary measures against sexual harassment.

Fines were increased from between NT$10,000 and NT$100,000 to NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.

An amendment to the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法) requiring the government to set up disabled-friendly facilities in voting stations was also passed.

The legislature passed the Organic Act of Taiwan Financial Holdings Co, Ltd (台灣金融控股有限公司條例) to give legal status to the state-owned corporation.

The act states that the amount of the corporation’s government-owned capital shall be no less than 90 percent of its registered capital, while the number of executives sitting on its 13-to-15-member board who are foreigners or hold dual nationality shall not exceed two.

Meanwhile, the legislature yesterday scheduled a review session for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) nominee for president of the Examination Yuan, John Kuan (關中), and the nominee for vice president of the Control Yuan, Chen Jinn-lih (陳進利), for next Friday.

The legislature also passed an amendment to the Statute Regulating Firearms, Ammunition, Knives and Other Deadly Weapons (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例) that means people who illegally obtain such weapons will have their punishment increased by up to one half.

Under current regulations, people possessing such weapons without permission can recieve the death penalty, a life sentence or a seven-year sentence and a fine of up to NT$30 million (US$1 million).