No dates set for utilities price increase: minister


TAIPEI — Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang declined to comment yesterday on media reports that the newly sworn in administration will make a decision this week on rationalizing the prices of the country’s key public utilities. “It is completely off base to say that the Cabinet will finalize the utility price hike issue this week,” noted Shih, saying the government so far does not have a timetable for such an endeavor. One of the top challenges that Premier Sean Chen’s Cabinet faces is the pressure to increase prices for gasoline, electricity and gas — elements that are closely linked to food prices and inflation. The government has kept the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) and oil company CPC Corp., Taiwan (CPC) from raising electricity and gasoline prices for various reasons.