The Special Statute for Forward-looking Infrastructure Development was formulated with a budget ceiling of NT$420 billion over a four-year period(Taiwan)

Angela Wu

The President promulgated the Special Statute for Forward-looking Infrastructure Development (hereinafter, the “Statute”), which consists of 15 articles, via the Hua-Zhong-One-Yi-10600085601 Directive of July 7, 2017. The Statute came into effect on the day of its promulgation.

Article 4 of the Statute specifically stipulates eight categories of forward-looking infrastructure development, including “railway construction,” “water environment development,” “green energy development,” “digital development,” “urban and rural development,” “development of child nurturing space to cope with a low birth rate,” “food safety development,” and “development that cultivate talents and promotes employment,” to promote overall development of local areas and regional balance.

To fund the above forward-looking infrastructure, Article 7 of the Statute provides that the central government shall fund the forward-looking infrastructure projects with a budget ceiling of NT$420 billion over a four-year period. After the period expires, subsequent budgets and periods, which shall not exceed the scale and duration of the former budget, should be approved by the Legislative Yuan with special budgets being prepared and phased budgetary preparation and review.

Under Article 11 of the Statute, if the execution of a forward-looking infrastructure project involves the preparation or revision of an urban plan, the superior government agency may elect to make the revision directly pursuant to Article 27, Paragraph 2 of the Urban Planning Law, if necessary. If environmental impact assessment or handling and maintenance of water and soil conservation are required pursuant to law, parallel operation may be conducted in accordance with Article 27-2 of the Urban Planning Law. The purpose is to smoothly promote infrastructure development but take into account the soundness of finance.

Article 10 of the Statute also sets up an accountability mechanism by specifically providing that if an audit agency finds, in its review of the forward-looking infrastructure projects handled by various agencies, that the construction progress of a forward-looking infrastructure development project fails to reach eighty percent of the target due to legal violations or dereliction of duties of civil servants, the head and relevant supervisors of the implementation agency shall be referred to the Control Yuan for disciplinary action.