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Premier seeks support for major infrastructure development plan
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Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Premier Lin Chuan on Thursday sought to assuage concerns and drum up support for a major infrastructure plan, calling on all parties to put aside any preconceived ideas and treat the program in a practical and reasonable manner.

No part of the plan will be implemented until related environmental impact assessments have been carried out, Lin said in response to concerns expressed by environmental groups over some of the proposed transportation projects.

Nor will there be any massive relocation of population or requisition of land, said the premier. He made the comments when speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting, according to spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung.

Lin addressed some of the criticism and concerns over the "Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Statute" a day after President Tsai Ing-wen complained that the Cabinet was not doing enough to help the public understand the infrastructure development plan.

On Wednesday, lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties pushed and shoved each other during a joint committee review before the statute received its first reading amid chaos.

The statute would allow the Cabinet to spend NT$882.49 billion (US$29.32 billion) over eight years to build infrastructure projects around Taiwan, including new light railways and several rail extension or improvement projects.

Lin told reporters that the purpose of the plan is to spur the national economy in response to the public's expectations for the government to build a better nation.

There will be no question of leaving future generations in debt as a result of the infrastructure development plan, he added. When announcing the plan in March, Lin said the government spending is expected to lead to NT$1.77 trillion in private-sector investment and add 0.7 percent to Taiwan's GDP growth each year during the eight-year period. (Courtesy of CNA)