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[Editorial] Are There Two `Deputy Prime Minister - Finance and Economy Ministers’?

[Editorial] Are There Two `Deputy Prime Minister - Finance and Economy Ministers’?

Posted May. 30, 2001 08:56,   


When Jin Nyum, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance and Economy Minister, was asked at the National Assembly what was the most difficult aspect as an economic official, he said that ``economic issues are not handled by the logics of economy due to the political affairs.`` Despite Deputy Prime Minister’s euphemistic answer, the imminence of the political season seems evident as the policy committee of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) has recently announced the consecutive pork-barreling policies prior to the government.

It is necessary for the ruling party and the government to go through the process of adjustment with regard to the important policies. However, it is undesirable that the authority of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, which selects and administers the economic policies, is ignored by the ruling party. Many people have witnessed throughout the various political events the gravity of the damage when the economy on the verge of crisis is dominated by the political logics. In this sense, the direction taken by the policy committee of the MDP, including the chairperson of the second policy committee Kang Woon-Tae, seems unusual. The policy committee of the MDP `confirmed and announced` the compilation of the supplementary budget bill without the consultation of the government. Plans to stimulate the economy through the various tax benefits were announced by the ruling party, not by the government, confusing the people.

The policy that applies the flexible debt rates to some of the business industries, including the general trade company, was announced by the MDP after a meeting with the trading circles. This policy was not decided through the government-ruling party consultation. Kang, chairperson of the second policy committee, compromised the government’s position and confused the policies by announcing the tax system improvement plan without having to consult with the government.

If the MDP’s policy committee takes the place of the government, what is the use of the Ministry of Finance and Economy? What is the use of Deputy Prime Minister Jin Nyum, if Kang takes his place? Ministry of Finance and Economy is supposed to be in charge of the administration and the adjustment of economic policies. What are the intentions of the MDP, with a deficient expertise and responsibility, to be in charge of economic policies?

It is natural for the MDP to be concerned about the nation’s economy and try to overcome the crisis. However, if the MDP truly hopes for the economic recovery, it is appropriate to support the policies which the government wants to carry out, by maintaining a regular intervals.

The sophistication of the people will not allow for the ruling party’s pork-barreling policies. Rather, the people are concerned about the delay of the structural adjustment and the distortion of the economic situation. The MDP is making a mistake if it expects the people to foolishly vote for the MDP lured by the pork-barreling policies.