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Taiwan agencies warned to act fast

NEWS

TAIWAN PRESIDENT Lee Teng-Hui has warned the heads of his government agencies that they will be sacked if they fail to carry out reconstruction work fast enough, following last week's earthquake.

The warning came as President Lee issued an emergency decree setting up the Earthquake Reconstruction Committee to lead the rebuilding effort over the next six months.

The island's Council for Economic Planning and Development estimated the cost of reconstruction work at around £2bn. It said work would focus first on restoring livelihoods before repairing bridges and roads.

A 20-point emergency action plan has been formulated which includes structural inspections on houses led by the associations of civil and structural engineers.

Other priorities in the action plan include:

Relief cash for damaged houses

Temporary shelter for victims

£1bn in relief and emergency funds

Relaxation on repayments for public housing and commercial loans

Ensuring power, water and food supply

Housing reconstruction loans

Funding will come from budget reorganisation, bond issues and loans.

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