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Rival parties agree to conduct parliamentary investigation into public funds

Rival parties agree to conduct parliamentary investigation into public funds

Posted November. 09, 2000 20:03,   


The ruling and opposition parties agreed Thursday to conduct a parliamentary investigation into public funds, which have been criticized as a ¡°hippopotamus devouring the people¡¯s taxes.¡±

The lawmakers appear to be determined to thoroughly dig into the problems regarding the efficiency of public funds, which have been spent with no specific checking devices so far, irrespective of their party affiliation.

Rep. Lee Hoi-Chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party, claimed in his keynote speech at the National Assembly Thursday that the government was pouring money into a ¡°broken jar without repairing it,¡± like throwing water on thirsty soil.

The opposition leader urged President Kim Dae-Jung to come to the Assembly to explain himself how the public funds were used.

The GNP suspects that the public funds were raised and spent without any concrete planning. Rep. Lee Hahn-Koo claimed that the public funds were managed with no apparatus taking general responsibility, causing widespread moral hazards in the process of managing injections and distribution. He added that related officials should be called to account.

The ruling Millennium Democratic Party was previously passive toward the parliamentary probe of public funds, but has changed its position on the occasion of conducting the parliamentary inspection of the administration. Its members appear to be ready to meet the task.

Rep. Chung Sye-Kyun of the MDP said he would concentrate on determining whether the public funds were used transparently and fairly, if there were any moral hazards in the financial institutions and if the size of the funds (109 trillion won) was appropriate.

He also said that he is determined to check the possibility of the recovery of the public funds, the appropriateness of the selection of the recipients and the self-help efforts of the organizations injected with funds.

However, the ruling and opposition parties are at odds over the timing of the parliamentary inspection. The MDP maintains that it should be launched after the Assembly acts on the motion for the approval of the government¡¯s additional public funds (40 trillion won).

The GNP insisted that the House should act on the motion after it finds the accurate scale of the necessary public funds through the parliamentary inspection. Therefore, the House should begin the probe immediately after the parliamentary interpellation that ends on Nov. 17.