Premier vows to punish unreasonable price hikes

By Grace Soong,The China Post

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) vowed yesterday to strictly punish those who implement unreasonable price rises to daily necessities and requested the Executive Yuan’s ad hoc team stabilize current price rises. Chen’s promise came amid public complaints regarding current price fluctuations.

Although President Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday announced slower and staggered increases to electricity prices as a means to reducing their impact on the local economy, the public remains disgruntled at the rising costs of daily necessities. Commenting on the concerns, Chen emphasized that the government is aware of the price rises and has been taking action to deal with any unreasonable hikes.

Government departments including the Ministry of Justice, Fair Trade Commission (FTC, 公平會), Council of Agriculture (COA), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOE0) and the Cabinet-level Consumer Protection Commission (CPC, 消保處) should take imitative in monitoring fluctuations in price changes and punish those who implement unreasonable rises, Chen said.

The premier also directed that Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huan (江宜樺), who is concurrently convener of the Executive Yuan’s Price Stabilization Committee, to gather experts and representatives of local governments to draft policies for the purpose of stabilizing prices to reassure the public.

Head of Wei Chuan Foods Corporation (味全公司) Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) voiced support for the government’s three-stage electricity rate kike plan, reasoning that giving the public time to adjust and get used to higher electricity prices is a wise act. So as to stand on the same side as the public, however, Wei Chuan Foods has decided to avoid raising the price of their products for now.

The company will do its best to cut down on expenses and hope for bigger profits despite the fact that the higher electricity prices may cost the corporation NT$1.53 million, Wei said.