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Executive Yuan passes central government budget proposal

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At its weekly meeting today, the Executive Yuan passed the 2013 central government general budget proposed by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). The proposal will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review.

Premier Sean Chen said that despite limited sources of revenue, the government in 2013 will continue to raise expenditures on public construction and social welfare in order to counter the global economic slowdown and expand benefits for the disadvantaged. He also noted that the budget deficit for 2013 will be NT$7.9 billion (US$263 million), or 3.4 percent, less than the previous year, down for the fourth consecutive year. This shows that the government has been enforcing its policies while maintaining fiscal health.

In response to budget adjustment requests from a few agencies, the premier directed the Executive Yuan secretary-general and DGBAS minister to work out the details without changing the current to capital account ratio, without cutting infrastructure expenditures, and without changing total revenue and expenditure amounts.

Because each agency has a limited budget, Chen said it will become necessary in the future to fund public construction projects with private capital. Regulations should be amended to encourage more private funding through PFIs (private finance initiatives) or PPIPs (private participation in public infrastructure projects). This would alleviate the financial burden on government agencies, he added.

Premier Chen also asked Executive Yuan officials to take prompt action if the central government budget is slashed or blocked by the Legislative Yuan, so as to ensure effective implementation of plans later on.

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