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Talk of the Day -- Offending firms to be stripped of subsidies
Central News Agency
2014-01-20 11:03 PM
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has drafted amendments to two by-laws under the Act for Industrial Innovation to pave the way for cutting financial subsidies for companies that have seriously violated laws governing environmental protection, labor rights and food safety, the United Evening News (UEN) reported Monday. The ministry is scheduled to soon publicize new regulations governing corporate innovation subsidies and tax deductions for corporate research and development (R&D) expenditure, the newspaper said. The MOEA has drafted revisions to the two by-laws to terminate financial subsidies and tax deductions for law-breaking companies at the request of the Legislative Yuan's Economic Affairs Committee last December. The Legislature's request came after Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), the world's largest IC packaging and testing service provider, was caught discharging untreated industrial wastewater into a river in violations of the Criminal Code and the Waste Disposal Act. The following are excerpts from the UEN's special report on the MOEA's regulation revision plan and relevant topics: The two by-laws to be revised govern subsidies to encourage private companies to innovate technologies and management as well as tax deductions for corporate R&D spendings. The revised regulations could be put into force without the need of legislative screening and approval. If all goes well, the new rules will take effect by the end of March, MOEA sources said. On innovation subsidies, any company that is certified by overseeing government agencies to have grossly violated environmental protection, labor rights and food safety rules continuously would be barred from applying for innovation aid within a specified period of time. If the legal breach is found during the proceeding of an innovation project, innovation aid would be ceased and payments given in the previous months of the year would be recalled. In addition, law-breaking companies would be disqualified for tax reductions for their R&D expenditures for the year. The Act for Industrial Innovation came into force in 2010 after the expiration of the Statute for Upgrading Industries. Under the new act, a maximum of 15 percent of a company's R&D spendings can be deducted from its annual business income tax as part of the government's efforts to promote technological innovation. The new act will remain valid until the end of 2019. Labor rights groups said the government should also legislate a whistleblowers protection law to encourage corporate employees to report illicit or illegal practices of their companies, especially those related with environmental protection and food safety. Sun You-lien, secretary-general of Taiwan Labor Front, said many advanced countries, including the United States, Canada, South Korea and Japan, have enacted special laws to protect whistleblowers from falling victim to security threats. It is regrettable that the government has not yet taken any steps in this regard after the outbreaks of a spate of food safety scandals and ASE waste water disposal irregularities, Sun said. (Jan. 20, 2014). (By Sofia Wu)
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