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From Nine Trillion Won Wasted on Redundant Road Construction to Subsidies Provided for Non-Farming Landowners

From Nine Trillion Won Wasted on Redundant Road Construction to Subsidies Provided for Non-Farming Landowners

Posted September. 29, 2005 03:05,   


Mr. Lim, 56, has farmed on leased land for the past 12 years.

Since 2001, the government has provided farmers with a rice farming subsidy, but Mr. Lim has never received it. It all went to the landowner.

“If the farmer receives the subsidy, the landowner will raise the rent, so we can’t even complain.”

This is a prime example of government budget diversion.

Various subsidies fall into hands that were unintended for as a result of faulty stock taking. In many cases, redundant investments are made in projects selected without scrutinized assessment of their potential for success.

According to the “Indicated Budget Waste Cases and Response Results” that the Ministry of Planning and Budget (MPB) submitted to Ku Non-hoe of the Uri Party on Wednesday, a total of 184 cases has been registered with government ministries, local governments, and the public enterprise budget waste reporting center from March to July this year, in which 33 budgets were found to have been incorrectly used.

One of the indicated problems is that there are too many rest areas on the highway with buildings not being fully used.

Wonju rest area on the Joongang Highway was built with Korea Highway Corporation budget last year, but only 20 percent of the building is being used while the rest remains empty.

Expensive trees by the Namhae Highway were planted under an overpass. Not a single drop of rainfall reached the tree, and they all dried and died. Yang Choong-mo, team leader of the budget waste response team of MPB, said, “A Highway Corporation official had made a mistake.”

Green Korea, a civic group, pointed out that over nine trillion won was wasted because highways or national roads were constructed in the same area. Sometimes national roads were expanded in places with low traffic.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF) completed a fresh fish processing plant last November with one billion won of public money and 500 million won of local budget. The plant operation rate falls short of 20 percent. Even so, MOMAF plans to build more of these plants in Busan and Seongnam.

Chungnam Province, Cheonan, and the National Livestock Cooperative Federation jointly invested 19.1 billion won to build the Jungbu Agro-Products Corp. Logistics Center, which brought losses because of a lack of expertise. The deficits were two billion won in 1999, but that number ballooned to 5.3 billion won in 2002.

Lee Tae-sik, head of Hanyang University’s Graduate School of Industrial Management and Engineering, said, “Budgets are loosely managed. Public project budgets are executed on an annual basis, which results in the project managers excessively executing the budget at the end of the year and reapplying.”