Taipei, April 25 (CNA) Recent checks have found that the prices of the main food staples in Taiwan are largely stable, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Wednesday, amid reports that commodity prices have risen quietly due to a recent fuel price hike and looming electricity rate increase.
For example, the price of rice has dropped slightly by 5 percent, while the price of eggs sold in supermarkets has gone up by 5 percent, Jiang said in a meeting of a Cabinet task force on price stabilization, which he heads.
He asked the relevant government agencies to keep tabs on any market changes in a bid to stabilize the price of commodities and allay public misgivings about a general price increase.
As part of the effort, the Council of Agriculture is planning a short-term initiative to supply pork at farmers' and fishermen's associations, big shopping malls and chain stores at a lower price than in traditional markets, Jiang said.
He instructed the Fair Trade Commission and the Ministry of Justice to continue to monitor commodity prices and guard against illegal hoarding and price gouging.
As of Tuesday, a hotline 0800-007-007 that was set up April 18 had received 15 complaints about increasing prices of items such as tissue paper, garlic, milk powder, bread, soft drink and pineapple cakes.
(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)