Civic groups urge review of ‘hasty’ infrastructure plan

FORWARD-LOOKING?Academics expressed concern that the project could degenerate into a pork barrel, and asked the Cabinet to redraft it

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 22, 2017
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter

Civic groups yesterday expressed concern that the government’s Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program could degenerate into a pork barrel, as debate over the plan continues.

“The problem is that in the past there have been many examples of projects that started out with good intentions, but ended with tragic results,” National Chengchi University’s Department of Land Economics professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) said at a forum organized by the Economic Democracy Union.

“There is absolutely not enough ‘forward-lookingness’ in the entire program, which amounts to throwing away money,” union spokesman Hsu Po-jen (許博任) said, adding that there is danger that grants would degenerate into pork barrel aimed at securing votes from local constituencies unless civic groups are given a greater role in review.

Citing a “mixed bag” of railway construction projects, he said the proposal had been drafted too hastily and called for the Executive Yuan to require ministries to resubmit project proposals after it drafts a clear definition of “forward-looking.”   [FULL  STORY]

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