Mon, Sep 12, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Vice economic affairs minister at work


New Vice Economic Affairs Minister Hou Ho-hsiung (侯和雄) will formally take up his duties today, government sources said yesterday.

Hou, 61, will fill the post left vacant by the transfer of Yin Chi-ming (尹啟銘) to serve as an Executive Yuan adviser over water supply problems in the northern county of Taoyuan in the wake of Typhoon Matsa last month.

In the past, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) assigned two of its vice ministers to, respectively, oversee its two water resources-related units -- the Water Resources Agency (WRA) and Taiwan Water Corp (TWC, 台灣省自來水公司).

This arrangement will be changed after Hou assumes his post, MOEA sources said. Hou will be charged with overseeing both WRA and TWC operations with a view to speeding up inter-department coordination and upgrading operational efficiency, the sources said.

Hou, a former deputy mayor of the southern port city of Kaohsiung who has a doctoral degree in civil engineering and coastal engineering from the University of Florida, will also oversee operations of the MOEA's Bureau of Mines, Energy Commission and Commission of National Corporations.

According to sources, Hou will have to deal with thorny issues, including adjustments of gasoline and electricity rates, water supply issues of the Shihmen Reservoir and an all-important eight-year NT$80 billion flood-control bill.

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