iPad 2 remains unclaimed
The 100 millionth electronic invoice was issued by a convenience store on Tuesday last week and the consumer that received the invoice is to be given an iPad 2, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. According to the ministry’s Financial Data Center, invoice YG85644046 was issued at 12:30pm at an OK Mart convenience store on Dadong Road in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林). The center said the customer spent NT$140. The ministry began encouraging stores to issue environmentally friendly invoices last year and, to draw the public’s attention to the policy, the ministry decided to give away an iPad 2 to the lucky holder of the 100 millionth invoice. The center has posted a notice at the store in Shilin, but no one has come forward to collect the prize. The person with the winning invoice should contact the center on (02) 2763-1833, ext 4379, an official said.
New Taipei City (新北市) saw the mercury plunge to 8.4?C yesterday afternoon, with temperatures in most northern areas ranging from 10?C to 13?C, the Central Weather Bureau said. The bureau warned that the cold spell would likely continue until tomorrow, when temperatures are expected to rise to between 16?C and 22?C nationwide. Until then, the bureau said, temperatures are forecast to range from 10?C to 18?C in northern and central areas and from 11?C to 21?C in the south. By the end of the weekend, seasonal winds from the northeast are expected to bring rain to northern and northeastern areas, the bureau said.
Number of stores increases
According to the latest official statistics, there is one convenience store for about every 500m on average in the nation. The number of convenience stores saw an annual increase of 2 percent to 9,483 as of the end of last year, in an area that covers more than 36,000km2, according to the latest statistics released by the Fair Trade Commission. The highest density is in Taipei, officials said, adding that the densities in Hsinchu and Chiayi are also high. The commission’s statistics also show that total combined sales at all of the convenience stores reached NT$230 billion (US$7.59 billion) last year. Convenience store services have become more diverse in recent years. In addition to everyday goods, they now also sell movies, concert and sport event tickets, high-speed rail tickets and entrance tickets for leisure parks. They also provide services that range from the delivery of products bought online, taking orders for special dishes for various festivals, to allowing customers to pay their utility bills.
Subsidies to be paid early
Government subsidies and allowances are to be paid early this month so that recipients will have the money before the Lunar New Year holiday, the Bureau of Labor Insurance said on Tuesday. An estimated 2.08 million people receive the payments, which include workers’ pensions, welfare allowances and subsidies to Aborigines. The payments are to be made on Jan. 16, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 instead of Jan. 30 as is customary, the bureau said. Meanwhile, the 680,000 elderly farmers who are eligible for a pension increase from NT$6,000 to NT$7,000 per month as of this month will receive the increase on Feb. 20, the bureau said. Farmers whose non-agricultural income exceeds NT$500,000 or who own property worth more than NT$5 million will no longer be eligible for the pension, starting in January next year, the bureau said.