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Gov’t increases ceiling for agricultural gift for Seollal to 200,000 won

Gov’t increases ceiling for agricultural gift for Seollal to 200,000 won

Posted January. 16, 2021 07:27,   

Updated January. 16, 2021 07:27


The value of agricultural and fisheries gift that can be presented to civil servants on Seollal, Korean Lunar New Year’s Day, will be temporarily raised from 100,000 won (about 91 U.S. dollars) to 200,000 won (about 182 dollars) again after the Chuseok holiday last year.

The Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission held a full-member meeting on the day and adopted a revision to that effect to the executive ordinance of the Anti-Corruption and Bribery Prohibition Act. The revised ordinance will be approved by a Cabinet meeting next Tuesday to take immediate effect and will remain effective through Feb. 14 when the Seollal holiday will end.

The Anti-Corruption and Bribery Prohibition Act limits the value of foodstuffs, gifts, and congratulatory gifts that a civil servant or public official can legitimately receive from people related to their jobs to 30,000 won (about 27 dollars), 50,000 won (45 dollars), and 50,000 won, respectively. However, as for agricultural and fisheries produce, a civil servant has been allowed to receive a gift worth up to 100,000 won, and the new measure will temporarily increase the value to 200,000 won. Agricultural produce includes hanwoo (Korean beef), fish, fruit, and flowers, while processed products of agro and livestock produce and fisheries include red ginseng, fermented fish and kimchi, over 50 percent of whose ingredients come from agricultural produce and fisheries.

Farmers and fishermen’s groups have been strongly demanding a hike in the ceilings of the value for such gifts, complaining about economic losses due to social distancing meant to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com