Sat, Nov 27, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Single ministry may soon have sole say over state-run firms

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

After the government's restructuring plan has been finalized, the Ministry of Finance will become the regulatory body for all state-owned enterprises, Finance Minister Lin Chuan (林全) confirmed yesterday.

"It will be a good and healthy development, although the Cabinet hasn't finalized the policy change," Lin told a press conference yesterday.

Currently, state-owned enterprises are under the supervision of other related government agencies, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) and Taiwan Power Co (台電), for instance, fall under the economics ministry, while Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) is regulated by the transportation ministry, while the finance ministry controls Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒公司).

Such a regulatory structure confuses the roles of government agencies both as business managers and regulators, Lin said.

"The ultimate goal is to put all state-owned enterprises under one regulatory umbrella," Lin added.

Lin said that the Cabinet has expressed support for the policy initiative, although difficulties such as the transfer of regulatory power from governmental agencies to the finance ministry could make the transition a bumpy one.

He added that this has been the goal since the National Asset Management Committee (國家資產經營管理委員會) was set up in 2002 to better integrate and manage national property.

However, no supporting measures have been hammered out to facilitate the transfer of regulatory power to the finance ministry, which may take longer than expected, as well as greater efforts, he said.

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