At today’s weekly Cabinet meeting, Premier Lin Chuan said the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program is intended to jumpstart the economy and fulfill the public’s expectation that the government will provide better infrastructure.
Since taking office last May, the premier has made use of his travels across the country to listen to people’s hopes for national development and inspect the state of Taiwan’s infrastructure, he said. After more than 10 months of careful planning, the government has presented the infrastructure program and prioritized major tasks for the coming years.
Because the infrastructure program will not cover every corner of the country, the Executive Yuan selected the most important and meaningful projects for inclusion in the special bill for forward-looking infrastructure projects, which is currently under review at the Legislature. These projects include railways, aquatic environments and industrial development, all of which are essential for national development. The premier urged all parties to abandon any preconceptions about the program and approach it in a practical and rational manner. He also urged the Legislature to use negotiations and rational discussion when conducting its review, adding that the Executive Yuan can help clarify any parts of the proposal if necessary.
Addressing concerns about environmental impacts, land requisitions and fiscal discipline, Premier Lin vowed that the government will abide by all laws and regulations, and promised the program will not saddle future generations with debt. Infrastructure projects that do not pass environmental impact assessments will not be implemented, and more importantly, there will not be any mass relocation of people or requisition of land. The special bill also has more fiscal restrictions than before: it will not have any clauses that permit adding to the budget deficit, nor will there be provisions excluding land requisition or environmental impact assessment work. The government will absolutely work within the existing regulatory mechanisms to promote the forward-looking infrastructure program, he pledged.