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Executive Yuan approves special budget to fund COVID-19 response

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At its weekly meeting on Thursday, the Cabinet approved a special budget proposal to fund the central government's fight against the outbreak of COVID-19 together with economic stimulus and relief measures. The proposed budget now goes to the Legislature for review and debate.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said that up to NT$60 billion (US$1.97 billion) will be allocated under a special act to provide relief to all affected industries. The government will administer the plan with the goal of distributing benefits equally, achieving immediate results, improving overall conditions, and accelerating public works projects.

Of the NT$60 billion total, NT$19.6 billion (US$645 million) will go toward such COVID-19 response efforts as hospital quarantine and treatment, the establishment of a central screening facility, medical worker compensation, and the requisition of supplies and equipment, said the premier.

The balance of NT$40.4 billion (US$1.33 billion) will finance assistance for industries including manufacturing, tourism and transportation, agriculture, arts and cultural enterprises, and businesses in indigenous and Hakka communities. Sectors catering to domestic demand—such as food service, retail, night markets, shopping districts and traditional markets—will also be targeted. Among specific measures aimed at minimizing the economic impact are financing guarantees and interest subsidies for corporations, transportation industry tax subsidies, payments to support travel accommodation operations, agricultural marketing assistance, and consumer purchase vouchers for domestic demand-focused businesses as well as arts and cultural enterprises.

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