COST OF LIVING/Businesses give mixed reaction to 15% electricity price hike
Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Electricity price hikes of an average of 8.4 percent announced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs Monday have received a mixed reaction from businesses, with a 15-percent increase for large industrial users from July 1 labeled by some as excessive.
Larry Wei (魏燦文), chairman of the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry, said that the 15 percent rise was "too much," and well above an anticipated 8 percent increase.
Wei said the hike would undoubtedly drive up the manufacturing costs, adding that industry-wide protests against the price rises could not be ruled out.
Responding to the price hikes, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, said it was committed to practicing green manufacturing and actively implementing energy saving and carbon reduction with the aim of eventually getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewables.
Habor Hsu (許文憲), chairman of the Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders' Association, told CNA in a phone interview that the adoption of a "user pays" principle alongside a reasonable adjustment of electricity rates would allow energy resources to be utilized more effectively.
However, Hsu said that the government should be fair in its distribution of subsidies, and not favor certain industries at the expense of others, adding that the process by which electricity rates are calculated should be open and transparent.
He added Taiwan Power Co. should also improve its operational efficiency so as not to waste scarce resources, and that electricity prices be kept relatively stable by the government to avoid overburdening manufacturers and businesses.
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