TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government is embarking on a multi-pronged approach to reining in price increases prior to the Lunar New Year.
From December, a task force has been carrying out spot checks to crack down on price gouging across the supply chain of commodities and industrial raw materials. Tax rate cuts are being implemented for wheat, beef, gasoline, and diesel between December and March, according to the National Development Council (NDC).
To further ensure price stability, a freeze on utility fees to various extents has been imposed, as are transportation fares and medications covered by the National Health Insurance.
State-owned companies that provide daily necessities, including cooking oil and sugar as well as instant noodles, cooking alcohol, and beer will halt price-hike plans. Fertilizer businesses will have up to 50% of the rise in costs absorbed by the government as the COVID-19 pandemic drives up raw material prices.
Meanwhile, companies affected by COVID and the mandatory wage raise will receive subsidies. Domestic demand-related sectors, in particular, are asked to suspend increases in prices for their services and products.
The interdepartmental price gouging investigation team on Thursday (Jan. 13) ran a second inspection on several upstream meat suppliers and bento meal businesses for suspected unreasonable price hikes. They are required to provide justifiable reasons for the increased pricing or face prosecution, according to the Ministry of Justice.