Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - Page 12 News List

CEPD chair defends floating fuel prices

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taiwan’s top economic planner yesterday defended the government’s floating fuel pricing mechanism, saying that it was the best method to reflect high global oil prices and expressing his opposition to a renewed freeze on fuel prices.

Adjusting domestic fuel prices in accordance with changes in international crude oil prices is the best policy for the country, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Chairman Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝) said in response to calls for the government not to raise fuel prices next month.

Chen said that he was opposed to reimposing a freeze on fuel prices and suggested instead that the government decide whether to adjust fuel prices on a monthly or weekly basis in an effort to prevent hoarding.

“Amid high oil prices, there is no better way than to adjust fuel prices based on the market mechanism,” Chen said.

A commodity price stabilization task force under the Executive Yuan decided at a meeting on Wednesday to request that the Ministry of Economic Affairs examine the pros and cons of a monthly versus a weekly review of gasoline prices at the pump, based on a floating pricing mechanism.

Executive Yuan Secretary-General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) said the government would take into account public opinion when mapping out policies related to raising fuel prices and the floating oil price mechanism.

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