THE Taiwanese Government has decided to revive a budget to build a US$17-billion, (HK$131.83 billion) high-speed rail system which was blocked by parliament last month, officials said yesterday. The cabinet will submit to parliament for review next month a new budget proposal and a draft for a regulation to encourage private investment in the system, Communications Ministry officials said. Parliament, increasingly independent after recent democratic reforms, voted last month to kill a NT$94.5 billion (HK$26.93 billion) budget to begin major work on the system, one of Taiwan's biggest infrastructure projects. Legislators blocked all state funding for the system, saying government finances were not strong enough to support it. Funding should come from the private sector, they said. But Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and Premier Lien Chan have said construction of the system must go ahead. It is unclear if parliament will pass the new budget. A group of rebel legislators in the ruling Nationalist Party is set to break away and form a splinter party this month. The 345-kilometre rail system, linking Taipei in the north and Kaohsiung in the south, was scheduled for completion within 10 years at a total cost of about US$17 billion, most of which would have been spent on land acquisition. Groups from France, Germany and Japan had been expected to bid for the project.