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Public Institutions Oppose Government’s Relocation Plan

Public Institutions Oppose Government’s Relocation Plan

Posted June. 25, 2005 06:06,   


The government has finalized its plan to relocate 176 out of 346 public institutions in Seoul and the Seoul metropolitan area, including Incheon, to 12 provincial areas.

Accordingly, by 2012, 600,000 to 900,000 people, including 32,000 employees, their families, and workers of related businesses will move in an exodus to the 12 provincial areas when the relocation of public agencies and construction of innovation cities are completed.

On June 24, Minister of Construction and Transportation Choo Byung-jik and Sung Kyung-ryung, the head of National Balanced Development Committee, officially announced the plan for the relocation of public firms.

Among 176 public companies to be moved to 12 provinces and cities, South Chungcheong Province, which was designated as the administrative capital, will accommodate the most, except for the metropolitan area and Daejeon, attracting 47 agencies, followed by North Chungcheong Province and South Jeolla Province (15 agencies each). Gangwon Province, North Gyeongsang Province, North Jeolla Province have attracted 13 each, Busan, Daegu, South Gyeongsang Province have attracted 12 each, Ulsan 11, Jeju Island nine, and Gwangju three.

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation’s location will be decided based on the location of a proposed radioactive waste disposal site.

The previous plan of relocating 177 agencies was reduced by one, the Education Center for Unification, in the process of deliberation in the National Assembly. The location for the center will be determined after a prolonged discussion.

The government plans to select candidate sites for innovation cities in the 11 areas except South Chungcheong Province by the end of September.

From 2007, subsidiaries under the Ministry of Construction and Transportation will be at the forefront of the scheduled relocation of the public firms.

However, there seems to be a bumpy road ahead in implementing the relocation plan since some companies are opposed to it, saying, “The government’s plan ignores the nature of the industry and will cause inconveniences as the new locations are far from their business sites.”

Municipal governments in Gyeonggi Province and Incheon expressed strong opposition against the government’s plan, citing “reverse discrimination.”

The government is set to announce a metropolitan development measure on June 28 to prevent any “hollowing effects” resulting from the relocation of state-run companies and the construction of the administrative capital.

Jae-Seong Hwang Kyung-Hyun Nam jsonhng@donga.com bibulus@donga.com