The government is to allocate an additional NT$2 billion (US$66.51 million) to help the agriculture sector cope with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total funding to NT$8.8 billion.
Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) on Monday said that NT$4.07 billion of the original NT$6.8 billion in funding had already been allocated in soft loans to agricultural businesses and it was apparent that more would be needed.
Some of the new funding is to be targeted at the horticulture sector.
Workers who pick flowers for vendors and who are not covered by the labor insurance program would be entitled to a monthly stipend of NT$9,520, or 40 percent of the minimum monthly wage of NT$23,800, for three months, Chen said.
The government would also provide NT$100 million to support the overseas marketing of locally grown flowers and subsidize up to 20 percent of producers’ costs, including fertilizer, he said.
It would also subsidize air and ocean freight costs when shipping products abroad, he added.
Part of the assistance program would be non-monetary relief, including for the fishing industry, which has faced a labor shortage after Chinese and Indonesian crew members were unable to travel to Taiwan due to the pandemic, Chen said.
The government is to help expedite fisheries work permit applications for overseas workers, he said.
Eighty-eight fishing boat owners have filed work permit applications for 632 migrant workers to replenish their workforces, he added.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two