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Daily Archives: December 20, 2007

10 million patacas radio telecommunications cut

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by Sara Farr   

Reduction on taxes and penalties for radio telecommunications will be cut by a staggering 10 million patacas next year, Tong Chi Kin, president of the Executive Council announced yesterday.

Although reduction rates will be reduced by 10 million patacas, adjustments made to the administrative regulation on the rates, penalties and fees applicable to radio communications, and the reduction of such fees will see the government pocket 60 million patacas less next year.

Tong announced the government will reduce amplifier rates from the current of 1,800 pataca to just 720 patacas, a cut of 60 percent, while rates for mobile telecommunications will be reduced by 50 percent from the current monthly rate of 144 patacas to 120 patacas.

Other cuts include a 50 percent reduction on rates for common channels, from the current annual fee of 720 patacas to 360 patacas, private channels from the current 528 patacas to 264 patacas, and the mobile phone station rates will also be cut by 50 percent, from the current 48 patacas to 24 patacas.

 Due to the development of the radio communication sector as well as the MICE industry sector in Macau, and the increasing number of users in these two sectors, the government decided to adjust and reduce radio communication rates and penalties.

Tong added that the government's decision was also due to requests from Macau's fishing sector, for whom the rates were too high.

“So in order to respond to the fishing sector's needs, this administrative regulation was created, allowing for the adjustment of the rates and penalties and fees of radio telecommunications service,” Tong said.

The aim of the rates cut will be published in the near future, a statement released by Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) said.

US Senate approves 70 billion dollars in war funds

The US Senate late Tuesday passed a half-trillion dollar budget bill for 2008 that includes 70 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, dealing a major victory to President George W. Bush.

The Senate voted 70-25 to approve the catch-all budget bill, passed late Monday by the House of Representatives, but added extra war funds after the House version included 31 billion dollars solely for US-led efforts in Afghanistan but none for Iraq.

The version passed by the Senate does not include any of the restrictions that Democrats hoped to pin on the release of war funds, such as linking them to a withdrawal date for US troops.

Amid deep differences with the Congress over the Iraq war, the White House had threatened to veto the entire spending bill if it contained no funding for Iraq.

Democrats, who took over the US Congress in November 2006 elections fueled by anger at the war in Iraq, have tried without success to use their power of the purse to impose a timetable for withdrawal from the strife-torn country where nearly 4,000 US troops have died since the March 2003 invasion.

Democrats reportedly also gave up several billion dollars' worth of other budget demands rejected by Bush, in order to see the spending measure passed before the year-end recess.