The government is expected to reconvene the Tax Reform Committee this month and adopt a milder approach to dealing with proposed energy and environment taxes to facilitate the reform, Ministry of Finance officials said yesterday.
Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) said the ministry was willing to make major concessions to remove resistance when the committee next meets.
The panel, put in charge of overhauling the nation’s taxes and due to complete their work at the end of the year, has not met since the Cabinet was reshuffled last month.
The committee was instructed on Aug. 3 to explore non-tax measures to encourage energy conservation and cut greenhouse gas emissions after its original plan riled the business community.
“The ministry is committed to the green tax reform,” Lee said by telephone.
“All [sides] agree on the need to reform, but differ on the tax rates. We’re willing to make concessions as long as they do not sabotage the goal,” Lee said.
The task force has proposed imposing incremental energy and environment taxes to reduce carbon emissions by 8.9 million tonnes over the next decade.
Daigee Shaw (蕭代基), president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, which was commissioned to conduct the research, has called for a NT$9.55 energy tax and a NT$0.45 environment tax for each liter of gasoline consumed in the first year.
The taxes will then go up each year until they reach NT$24.12 and NT$4.53 respectively in the 10th year, similar levels to Japan and South Korea, and boost the state coffers by more than NT$800 billion (US$24.8 billion).
Local media reported last week that the government intends to halve the rates and use the extra revenues to subsidize low-income families and fund other tax cuts.
Lee declined to confirm the figures, saying premature revelations of the bottom line would weaken his bargaining chips.
Shaw, who arrived at the original rates by pricing NT$2,000 for each tonne of carbon emissions, said a cut of less than 50 percent was acceptable.
To defuse resistance, the committee reportedly would exempt energy exports from the environment levy.
Local media said the compromise was aimed at reducing the impact of the reform on the petrochemical industry.
Preston Chen (陳武雄), chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (工業總會), has warned the green tax — as it stands now — could hurt industries and economic growth.
Deputy Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said the committee has yet to decide when to meet because Vice Premier Eric Chu (朱立倫) has the final say.
“The ministry will convene the meetings at the vice premier’s convenience when submitting the proposal,” Chang said by telephone.
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US