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June 26, 2017

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'Unfair' Taipower deals to be reviewed: MOEA

Taipower Subsidizes Residents of Outlying Islands

People First Party Legislator Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) uncovered that approximately NT$52.4 billion in Taipower losses were due to subsidizing residents of outlying islands. The MOEA should be responsible for providing such money, but Taipower was instructed to absorb it, according to Lee.

According to the MOEA, it costs NT$2 to provide one kilowatt of power to the main island of Taiwan, NT$8 for Penghu (澎湖), NT$10 for Kinmen (金門) and NT$14 for Matsu (馬祖). According to the law, the government should subsidize residents of outlying islands and offer them the same electricity price as is offered to residents on the main island, which incurs losses of NT$4 billion to NT$5 billion a year for Taipower.

Minister Shih said the MOEA will review its subsidy policies.

Legislative Yuan Resolutions Halt Electricity Price Hike

The Legislative Yuan's Economics Committee passed several resolutions unanimously, demanding Taipower halt increases in electricity prices until the report by the committee for improving the efficiency of Taipower and CPC Corporation (中油) comes out. The resolutions also prohibited any new electricity rates before the gaining the approval of the Legislative Yuan.

Citing the Electricity Act (電業法) and Administrative Law of State-Owned Enterprises (國營事業管理法), DPP whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建民) stated that according to these laws, any proposal for electricity price hikes must be ratified by both the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan before its implementation.

Shih, however, claimed that the MOEA can decide by itself, referring to previous precedents set in 2006 and 2008 when the MOEA increased electricity prices without submitting the proposal to the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan.

Committee Chairman Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) stated that since the budget of Taipower is currently under review in the Legislative Yuan, these resolutions are linked to the budget and are thus binding. If the MOEA does not follow the resolutions, the Legislative Yuan will boycott future laws and budget plans of the MOEA.

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