Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Officials eye price volatility measures

PRICING WORRIES:One official said consumer prices in Taiwan rose just 1.42% last year, compared with 4% in South Korea, 5.2% in Singapore and 5.3% in Hong Kong

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah, left, talks yesterday in Taipei during a meeting of a task force aimed at stabilizing commodity prices.

Photo: CNA

As the public waits for expected increases in commodity prices following an increase in the price of gasoline, the government yesterday pledged to monitor price changes and crack down on unreasonable price hikes and price manipulation.

Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday called a task force meeting to discuss measures intended to stabilize commodity prices after an increase in -gasoline and diesel prices of between NT$2.3 a liter and NT$3.6 a liter, or an average of 10.7 percent, came into effect on Monday.

The consumer price index (CPI) remained relatively stable, Jiang said, citing a 1.42 percentage point year-on-year rise last year, compared with 4 percent in South Korea, 5.2 percent in Singapore and 5.3 percent in Hong Kong.

Despite rising prices, Jiang said that the annual growth in the CPI could still be kept within 2 percent this year, one of the lowest levels among Asia’s four “dragon economies.”

The task force decided to cut tariffs on baby formula and formula milk powder; butter and corn starch, soy flour; full cream milk powder and non-fat milk powder. The duty reductions went into effect yesterday and will remain in place until May 24, May 31, and Aug. 9, respectively, officials said.

Effective yesterday, imported corn was exempted from business tax for six months.

The state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp was instructed not to increase the price of sugar and cooking oil.

The Directorate-General of Consumer Protection at the Executive Yuan said it would coordinate with hypermarket and supermarket chains to set up “low-price supply areas” and establish Web sites to promote the low-price products.

The Fair Trade Commission, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Justice will coordinate efforts to crack down on monopolies, illegal hoarding of commodity goods, and price manipulation, Jiang added.

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