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[Editorial] Deputy PM`s Wrong Perception of Public Fund

Posted September. 13, 2002 22:59,   


Remarks by Chun Yun-cheol, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, is disappointing that public fund was not meant to be retrieved and that it was wrong to raise charges just because the government failed to retrieve the fund. For his remarks runs counter to the government`s initial position that its policy was tp maximize the retrieval of the public fund through thorough management whenever it raised additional fund. Chun might say that the government policy has nothing to do with him because he was not the person who made such promise. But that does not mean that the government is freed from responsibility.

His remarks came at a time when the parliamentary investigation into the public fund is being conducted. Thus, his remarks are not only untimely. But also it appears that he tries to shun his responsibility for not recollecting the public fund. President Kim Dae-jung`s instructed to censure those responsible when about 8 trillion won in public fund was lost due to the capital reduction by 6 banks in December, 2000. If Chun`s logic holds true, the President`s such instruction must be wrong step to take.

Chun`s remarks also have room for misunderstanding that he tries to exonerate the responsible for the loss in public fund. He should not make financial institutions injected with public fund think that they can squander public fund given without any responsibility.

In is next to impossible to fully retrieve 156 trillion won in public fund injected by the government. But the injection and management of public fund should be fair and thorough and the government should exert its best effort to recollect injected public fund. If public fund is fairly injected and efficiently spent, then the retrieval rate will naturally become higher. For if is excessively injected to unnecessary places, the retrieval rate will naturally become lower.

Hopefully, Chun`s remarks are not intended to minimize the significance of the ongoing parliamentary investigation. Light should be shed on mismanagement, if any, in injecting and distributing 69 trillion won worth of public fund, which is impossible to recollect. He argued that without public fund, there would have been financial depression and negative growth. But the fact that the country needed public fund does not excuse the government from responsibility for management failure.