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“No Regulation Ease” vs. “The Government Promised to Accept”

“No Regulation Ease” vs. “The Government Promised to Accept”

Posted November. 07, 2006 06:59,   


An employee at the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) shook his head, showing the “records on proposal management” which the government sent to them this past June.

The government expressed its willingness to accept the proposal from the business circle for the permitted daily construction hours to be extended from the existing 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as part of the “day working hours” from the regulations on the daily life noise levels.

At that time, the government promised in vain, saying, “Opinions will be gathered from related agencies and companies, which will be reflected in the prospective amendment of enforcement rules.”

The government received 94 deregulation proposals from five economic organizations including KCCI in the first half of this year, but most of them remain untouched. As for major proposals by the business circle, including the transfer of plants in the metropolitan area, most of them end up as either “difficult to accept” or “subject to mid-to long-term reviews.” This is why some point out that the government’s intention on deregulations has aroused doubts.

Acceptance: Lip Service Only? -

The Ministry of Finance and Economy recently received a report titled “Reports on Addressing Proposals from Five Economic Organizations” from the National Affairs Coordination Office and submitted it to the Finance and Economy Committee of the National Assembly. According to the report, only 13 cases were accepted out of the 94 which were submitted in the first half of the year.

Specifically, 25 cases were regarded as difficult to accept, eight subject to mid-to long-term reviews, 16 partially accepted, 27 classified for additional reviews, and the remaining five were already deregulated or adjusted by the government.

As for the 13 cases the government had pledged to accept, most of them had weaker regulation intensities than those classified as “difficult to accept,” but even almost half of these remain undone.

In fact, the government announced its decision to accept the proposal in which “the allowable dirt emission levels should be the same for both ordinary boilers and power generation facilities.” However there has been no further effort made from the government’s remark, “It will be reflected in amending the laws in the future.”

The government even agreed to the request, stating, “Plant clusters designated as management areas in Hwaseong City in Gyeonggi Province should become industrial zones,” although it is not a matter to be decided by the central government. Rather, it is the concern of a mayor or a provincial governor.

Major Regulations Untouched -

The government was mostly negative toward the deregulations proposed by companies aiming to expand investment.

It came up with its typical logic to the proposal, saying, “Regulations limiting the development of industrial zones of more than 30,000 square meters within the Nature Conservation Zone should be eased,” saying, “Concerns might rise on overpopulation within the metropolitan area.”

To the proposal stating, “One semi-agricultural area in Cheonan in Chungnam Province was recently changed into the Green Belt, restraining business activities, so please change the title of the zone,” it bluntly said, “Changes in urban management plans are for a mayor or a provincial governor to decide.”

However as the government had promised to accept the same proposal brought up by Hwaseong City, its ambivalent administration style was obviously exposed.

Most of the proposals related to the real estate policies including, “Conditions to be eased for resolutions on reconstruction” were classified as “difficult to accept.”

One executive at the Korean Federation of Industries (KFI) requesting for anonymity said, “If you look at the government’s attitude, you will know how it reacts to major issues in the business circle, including the ceiling on equity investment.”