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Farmers` groups pressing politicians: call for special legislation on debts

Farmers` groups pressing politicians: call for special legislation on debts

Posted December. 04, 2000 20:19,   


Farmers' organizations are making both ruling and opposition lawmakers nervous by demanding the legislation of measures to address the debt problems of farming households.

Nine leading members of the National Federation of Farmers' Organizations and the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation visited the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) Monday to deliver their demands.

The demands include, among other things, special legislation on the debts of farming households, transfer of jurisdiction over the Korea Racing Association to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the release of five farmers who were arrested for masterminding the massive farmers' rally on Nov. 21.

Rep. Mok Yo-Sang, the GNP's chief policymaker, and Rep. Kwon Oh-Eul of the National Assembly¡¯s Agriculture, Forestry, Maritime Affairs, and Fisheries Committee, promised that they would do their best to meet the demands.

Mok pledged that his party would facilitate the jurisdiction transfer and made a telephone call to Justice Minister Kim Jung-Kil to ask for leniency for the arrested farmers.

The farmers' organizations are also contacting lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties one by one. Members of the organizations, from 120 locations nationwide, visited lawmakers in their regions and asked for their cooperation in addressing the cited problems.

The members of the farmers' groups visited more than 40 lawmakers on Monday alone, including all the National Assembly members in Kangwon, North Chungchong and North Kyongsang Provinces, except for a few who had other commitments. They also met with lawmakers in South Chungchong and South Kyongsang Provinces

A total 101 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties signed a written promise that they would do their utmost to pass a special law on farmers' debts by the end of this year. A total of 85 of the lawmakers are from areas with farming and fishing villages while 26 are from urban areas.

Song In-Soo issong@donga.com