Sat, Jan 04, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Negligence led to delayed fuel subsidies: premier

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has demanded that officials take responsibility for negligence that led to a delay in transferring fuel subsidies to recipients, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said yesterday.

Jiang demanded that government agencies look into the causes of the delay and punish any officials responsible for the problems, Cheng added.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper), reported yesterday that the delay in the payment of subsidies has triggered complaints by taxi drivers.

Taxi drivers are among about 100,000 people entitled to receive fuel subsidies to help cover operating costs under a project that aims to mitigate the effects of rising oil prices on consumers that began on May 20, 2011.

Other people who qualify for the subsidy include operators of buses, coaches, tour buses and passenger ships serving outlying islands, along with providers of public transit services for people with physical disabilities and cargo transporters.

A taxi driver was quoted by the Liberty Times as saying that he found out about the late payment of the subsidy on Thursday when he was trying to fill up his car at a gas station.

The reason the subsidy was not deposited into recipients’ accounts was that the Ministry of Economic Affairs did not give the document regarding the payments to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, so CPC Corp, Taiwan, had no basis with which to wire the money into the relevant accounts, the taxi driver was quoted as saying.

It is suspected that the delay was caused because the government closed on Wednesday for the New Year holiday.

The Liberty Times quoted Cheng as saying that she had no idea about the whereabouts of the document. Yesterday morning, Cheng told reporters that the document arrived at the Executive Yuan on Tuesday, but it was not sent to Jiang’s office until Thursday night.

Jiang signed off on the document on Thursday night, Cheng said.

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