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Legislators call for freeze on oil and gas prices
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-10 12:52 PM
The Economics Committee of the Legislative Yuan reached a resolution on Monday demanding no price hike for non-commercial users of liquefied natural gas in January. In addition, no increases in gasoline and diesel fuel prices will be allowed during the Lunar New Year next year.

Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch has agreed to observe the resolution. Chang adds, however, that it is inappropriate to require state-owned yet market-minded Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to comply with a government pricing policy which could jeopardize CPC's profitability and unfairly draw criticism for underperformance.

In Monday's committee meeting, KMT legislator Huang Chao-shun said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) should put a hold on energy prices until the Lunar New Year holidays given the current high inflation and unemployment rate. Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Hsu Chung-hsin threatened to delay the budget review for CPC if any price markups are imposed.

Apart from the price freeze on oil and gas, the legislators also demanded that MOEA come up with a subsidy plan for financially disadvantaged families by the end of this month.

Last week CPC’s deputy general manager said the December liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) contract price jumped 65 percent compared to the previous month. However, CPC will absorb the lion’s share of the increase at NT$7.4 per kilogram out of NT$8.4/kg, passing only NT$1/kg on to consumers.

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