The government is to spend NT$1.25 billion and NT$1.2 billion (US$42.06 million and US$40.38 million) on agriculture stimulus vouchers and culture vouchers respectively near the end of this month in an effort to boost the two sectors, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday said that it plans to issue NT$250 vouchers totaling NT$5 million to Taiwanese, starting later this month.
The vouchers would be valid at 10 types of locations that sell agricultural products, it said.
The vouchers would be issued in electronic form and consumers would have to log on to a specific Web site and enter their national identification number and mobile phone number to receive the voucher, the council said, adding that the Web site is still being planned.
Its voucher program aims to generate about NT$1.7 billion in economic revenue for the agricultural sector, it said.
The council decided to launch the program after a survey of more than 100 operators of recreational agriculture businesses, including those in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, found that revenue fell by half in February and plummeted further in March and April due to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture said that it would issue 2 million NT$600 vouchers in electronic form to Taiwanese as well as foreign and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits and new immigrants, which would be valid from July 22 to Dec. 31.
Each person would be entitled to one NT$600 voucher which could be used to buy tickets for art exhibitions, performances, concerts, movies and other cultural and art events, as well as for purchases at more than 10,000 culture-related stores and venues, including bookstores and music stores, the ministry said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu