Lawmakers are to review the Executive Yuan’s NT$230.011 billion (US$7.8 billion) budget for the third phase of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program when the new legislative session opens this month, with a focus on projects related to digital infrastructure and 3D exhibitions displaying major historic events.
The Executive Yuan on Aug. 13 approved the budget for the program proposed by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics for fiscal year 2021.
The funding for projects related to economic development totals NT$125.3 billion, making up the majority, or 54.5 percent, of the program’s overall budget.
The funding for education, science and culture reaches NT$86.4 billion, or 37.6 percent of the total, followed by NT$44.4 billion earmarked for digital infrastructure, NT$6.9 billion for community development and environmental protection, NT$5.6 billion for social welfare, and NT$5.5 billion for general political affairs.
The Executive Yuan has said it regards digital infrastructure as one of its key development projects for the next four years.
Of the NT$44.4 billion earmarked for digital infrastructure, NT$35.1 million would be used to support Academia Historica’s plan to create 3D-simulated models of major historic events, 3D exhibition of artifacts of former presidents and vice presidents as well as smart guides using augmented reality technology.
Other projects for digital infrastructure would be divided into eight categories, details of the budget proposal showed.
In the first category, NT$270 million would be used to support the Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank operated by the Ministry of Culture and digital museum systems run by the National Palace Museum.
The second would use NT$2.5 billion to support open government and smart township services, including NT$1.7 billion for the Civil Internet of Things project’s data applications and industrial development.
In the third category, NT$5.3 billion would be earmarked to boost digital infrastructure, including NT$2 billion to advance Internet services and cloud infrastructure at public-sector agencies, NT$1 billion to improve weather information infrastructure and NT$800 million for a cybersecurity center of excellence project.
The fourth category would use NT$10.6 billion would be used to support the digital transformation of industries, including projects that support industrial research and development, and help semiconductor manufacturers develop Angstrom-level semiconductors.
Under the fifth category, NT$1.3 billion would be allocated to foster digital talent in artificial intelligence applications, and smart learning and teaching, as well as display technology.
The sixth would allocate NT$17.3 billion to 5G public infrastructure, including NT$15.4 billion for 5G Internet infrastructure construction, NT$500 million for the construction of undersea cables and a 5G cloud center, NT$400 million to compensate television operators whose use of ST-2 satellite might be affected by 5G experiments.
In the seventh category, NT$1.4 billion would be spent to narrow the regional gap in 5G services, including funding for telecoms to build base stations in remote areas, improving telecommunication services in mountainous areas and promoting 5G demonstration models on campuses.
Finally, NT$5.4 billion would be used to promote public digital services, including applications of smart displays, 5G applications in cultural venues, and shifting the frequency of Internet systems used by police and firefighters.
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