President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should call off the second-phase electricity price hike planned for December because he has failed to submit plans to reform state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) or Taiwan Power Co, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
“Ma pledged in April to submit reform plans on the two state-run companies within three months. However, we have not heard from him [on this issue] after four months,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.
Good news about Taiwan’s economy in recent months has been rare, Lin said, with the forecast for GDP growth this year scaled down to 1.66 percent, the eighth time it has been revised downward this year, while the consumer price index (CPI) and export numbers are also worrying.
Ma was forced to make the pledge to review management efficiency at the firms, their purchase deals and personnel because of the unpopularity of his decision to allow price increases for electricity and fuel, Lin said, adding that the higher prices have led to much hardship. The poor economic statistics have showed that the Ma administration was clueless about the recession, Lin said.
The nation’s miserable economic performance was contrary to comments by Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is visiting Central American allies, and who said that “Taiwan’s economy is fine and outperforming [that of] other countries.”
Lin said that Wu cited incorrect data when he said in Central America that Taiwan’s exports to China and the export volumes to China of items on the early-harvest list under the Economic -Cooperation Framework Agreement continued to grow — evidence that the cross-strait trade pact benefited Taiwan.
Taiwan’s exports to China between January and May were down 6.1 percent and exports to China of items on the early-harvest list decreased by 5.7 percent between January and May, Lin said.
“Is he lying or simply clueless? I don’t know,” Lin said.