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President revises electricity rate hike plan amid growing anger

2012/05/01 22:39:59

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou delayed the government's plan Tuesday to raise electricity rates amid surging public anger over rising living costs.

The revised plan will reduce the impact of the rate hikes on local households and businesses, he said during a 10-minute press conference.

The president also promised that the government will review the operational efficiency of the state-run power and oil companies.

Under the new plan, the government will implement electricity rate hikes in three stages, with the first and second stages beginning June 10 and Dec. 10, respectively, he said.

The date for the third stage of the hike plan is yet to be determined, as the government will take into account how the state-run power company has carried out reforms before it makes a decision, Ma said.

The president held the press conference after having a 3.5-hour meeting with Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang and other senior officials.

The announcement came amid growing anger over higher living costs that have come about as a result of the government's recent decisions to raise electricity rates and fuel prices.

Earlier in the day, over 2,000 protesters took part in a Labor Day demonstration to voice outrage over the rising living costs, among the other work-related problems they are facing.

(By Alex Jiang)