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Control Yuan mulls impeaching minister over year-end bonus row

Control Yuan mulls impeaching minister over year-end bonus row

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) The Control Yuan is studying the possibility of impeaching Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang for allowing state-run enterprises to hand out sizable year-end bonuses to their employees despite operating in the red. Control Yuan member Ger Yeong-kuang said Sunday that his organization urged the Economics Ministry and state-run utility Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) in September to take corrective measures against rewarding employees with hefty bonuses while posting substantial losses. Ger said that because the company has apparently not heeded the advice, he will ask ministry officials to brief Control Yuan members in January on why corrective action was not taken and how the problem will be dealt with in the future. If the situation is not improved by a certain deadline, an impeachment case will then be filed against Shih and other officials, he said. The Control Yuan is the branch of Taiwan's government that ferrets out improper or illicit behavior by public agencies and officials. It issued its warning after the Economics Ministry announced on Dec. 28 the year-end bonuses that employees at state-run companies will collect for their performance in 2011. The announcement sparked widespread criticism and even outrage because the bonuses seemed out of line with the companies' results. Despite losing NT$32.4 billion (US$1.12 billion) in 2011, state-run oil company CPC Corp. Taiwan, will pay its employees a year-end bonus of up to 4.6 months of their regular salary, according to the ministry. Taipower, which ran a deficit of NT$43.3 billion in 2011, will distribute bonuses as high as 3.65 months of their salary, and staff at Taiwan Water Corp. and Taiwan Sugar Corp. will receive up to 3.46 and 3.31 months of their respective salaries. The bonuses for 2011 would normally have been issued earlier in the year, but they were held up because of the rising controversy over the efficiency of CPC Corp. and Taipower as they continued to lose money despite fuel and electricity price increases. Taipower ran a deficit of NT$74.2 billion in the first eight months of 2012, and its accumulated losses should exceed NT$200 billion by the end of this year, raising even more skepticism over the propriety of the bonuses. Shih argued that the bonuses were warranted because the companies' earning capabilities were limited by policies set out by the government to keep utility and fuel prices stable. CPC Corp. Taiwan, for example, froze prices at the pump for much of 2011 despite rising international crude prices, which hurt its bottom line. Liu Ming-chung, the executive director of the State-owned Enterprise Commission, said Sunday that he respected the decision of the Control Yuan and would brief officials on the situation early next year. (By Justin Su, Lin Meng-ru and Ann Chen)


Updated : 2021-04-11 16:16 GMT+08:00