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Governmental Legislation Plan Stirs Conflict

Posted April. 22, 2004 21:36,   


The government has decided to handle pending bills and measures related to national administration immediately following the conclusion of the general election aftermath, stirring hot conflict since they are likely to utilize the government-friendly leading Open Uri Party’s majority in the National Parliament.

As the two leading and opposition parties, Open Uri Party and Grand National Party, run counter to each other on several law bills, the seventeenth National Parliament appears to begin its first session in discord rather than mutual cooperation. Additionally, the financial sector, labor groups, and civil right organizations have participated in the Parliament in a large degree, causing some experts to worry about the deepening social rancor between these groups.

Government Rushes to Settle the Economic Law Bills First –

It had hardly been a week since the government held a government-party meeting with the leading Open Uri Party when the government disclosed its intention to submit dozens of law bills and law revision bills to the seventeenth National Parliament.

The government’s legislation plan, unveiled just after the economic minister’s talk on April 22, includes pending economic policies, which are progressing through or have been rejected by Parliament.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) has requested the Open Uri Party to cooperate at the first government-party talk following the seventeenth general election. In order to pass law bills related to economic problems and livelihood of the people, the Uri Party consented to this request. In light of this outcome, the government feels optimistic about the legislation procedure.

Expected Conflicts throughout the Course of Legislation-

As the government’s legislation plans include diverse and sensitive law bills, which have already caused a stirring in civil right organizations and relevant interested parties, adversity is expected during legislative procedures.

The revision bill regarding the people’s pension system, which has been issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, proposes, “More insurance premium with less pension,” in an aim to prevent the insolvent management of the pension system.

The relative ratio of pension to the whole income, currently fixed at 60 percent, will be reduced step-by-step, beginning with a reduction to 55 percent in this year, and dropping to 50 percent in 2008. The insurance premium ratio, which is currently at nine percent, will be gradually increased to 15.9 percent by 2030. Labor and financial sectors have expressed concern that wages will drop as a result of this bill.

The Ministry of Labor’s law bill concerning the “law of governmental employee’s establishment of labor union and its management,” has been postponed due to a huge negative outcry, stirred by the labor sector.

The governmental employee law acknowledges the employers’ right to collective dispute, but denies their right to wage negotiation based upon the three basic labor union’s rights. Additionally, the law prohibits the right to group activities, provoking dissention from the labor world.

“If the existing law bill regarding governmental employees is submitted to the parliamentary standing committee, we will utilize all the possible means to resist it,” said the governmental employees’ labor union.

The financial sector also resisted the “law of guaranteeing retirement allowance,” issued by the Ministry of Labor, with the belief that the burden on companies will be increased beyond coverage.

In addition to these issues, the law revision bill for securing a site for building schools, the bill on agricultural organizations, the bill for fund management, and the law revision bill for monopoly regulation and fair trade promotion are the laws that are expected to incite refutation.

First Examination for the Majority Leading Party –

It also includes law bills that have been contested by the opposition party. Whether or not the two major parties will confront each other as the new Parliament begins its session over the economic policies remains to be seen.

GNP has made it clear that the account tracing right, full-scale permission for the public fund to be invested on stock exchanges through the revision of fund management law and the people’s pension law should not be passed.

“We are basically opposed to every law bill that will prevent the company activity,” remarked Rep. Lee Han-gu of GNP. “We are anxious that the government utilize the strength of the majority party to pass every bill they want.”