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Pros & Cons on Proposed Transformation of Irrigation Associations into Gov’t Agencies


 Pros & Cons on Proposed Transformation of Irrigation Associations into Gov’t Agencies


Source: UDN

May 30, 2020

The Legislative Yuan (LY) is slated to convene an extraordinary session in June to review a bill titled the “Irrigation Act,” according to which local irrigation associations would be transformed from corporations in the public sector into government agencies, eliciting salvos fired between irrigation associations both for and against over the proposed reform.

On May 29, a total of 17 irrigation associations around the nation established in Taoyuan a “Federation of Self-help Associations against Wiping out Irrigation Associations.” They opined that the government’s push for a reform of the irrigation associations was tantamount to confiscating not only their members’ right of autonomy but also farmers’ assets, adding that they would seek redress should the bill be enacted into law, including filing an administrative suit with an administrative court, bringing the case for a judicial review with the Council of Grand Justices of the Judicial Yuan on its constitutionality, and launching a plebiscite proposal.  

On the other hand, fourteen presidents of local irrigation associations, including Huang Hsin-ming (黃信茗), president of the Pingtung Irrigation Association, expressed support for the proposed reform in order to safeguard the irrigation associations and make development sustainable for agriculture in the nation. Huang pointed out that local irrigation associations had depended on government subsidies in their operations over a long period of time, adding that should these associations fail to transform into government agencies, the Pingtung Irrigation Association, for instance, might go bankrupt in one or two years.   


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