The government’s price stabilization commission yesterday presented more measures, including lowering tariffs and clamping down on the hoarding of commodities, to prevent price hikes for food and commodities.
Reporting to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee on the commission’s solutions to recent price hikes, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) said the New Taiwan dollar’s 0.097 percent rise against the US dollar offset the rise in global oil prices, which helped stabilize commodity prices.
However, the increasing demand for rice, flour and other agricultural products in Asia because of rapid economic growth has led to price hikes for food, she said, adding that the government would work harder to encourage increases in agricultural production to meet demand.
Liu said the Cabinet would not increase prices for water, gas and electricity fees for the time being, nor for sugar, flour and cooking oil. The government will enhance measures to clamp down on any hoarding of foods and commodities, she said.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said that as a long-term solution, the ministry was seeking to revise the Custom Tariff Law (關稅法) so that tariffs can be lowered at any time to stabilize commodity prices.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, reiterated his call for government bodies to monitor commodity and consumer prices and urged private companies to cooperate with government policies to stabilize prices.