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Taipower should reform before rates are hiked: Consumers' Foundation

Taipower should reform before rates are hiked: Consumers' Foundation

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) should review its operations and make reforms before electricity rates are hiked, the Consumers' Foundation said Wednesday. While it is not unacceptable for Taipower -- the nation's sole power supplier -- to raise electricity rates to make up for its losses, the premise for doing so should be a review of operation costs and subsequent reforms, said Mark Chang, vice chairman of the foundation. The Ministry of Economic Affairs originally announced that electricity rates would go up May 15, with household electricity rates increasing by an average of 16.9 percent, commercial rates by 30 percent and industrial rates by 35 percent, according to Chang. However, the government has now decided to increase the rates by 40 percent of the original plan on June 10, and again by 40 percent on Dec. 10 with the remaining 20 percent to be implemented if the government is satisfied with Taipower's reforms, Chang said. Although this seems to lessen pressure on the government, Chang noted that consumer prices rose at the end of April and they were unlikely to drop. Moreover, now that the hikes will be spread over several stages, it is possible that consumer prices will rise further, Chang said. He wondered why the government did not unveil measures to stabilize consumer prices before announcing electricity rate hikes. Chang noted that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has said the consumer price index could be kept below 2 percent this year, but he said he was "worried if the goal could be achieved." (By Yang Shu-min and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-03-02 16:40 GMT+08:00