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Industry minister urges redoubled efforts to cut debts of public firms

Industry minister urges redoubled efforts to cut debts of public firms

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Published : 2013-12-23 09:43
Updated : 2013-12-23 09:43

South Korea's industry minister on Monday urged the heads of state-run companies to double their efforts to reform their organizations, warning those who fail to do so may be sacked.

In a special meeting with the heads of 41 public firms currently under the leadership of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Yoon Sang-jick said the recently submitted plans of the public firms on debt-reduction and other reform measures showed little sense of crisis or will to overcome such a crisis by their leaders.

"The minister noted that the heads of public firms who lack the will or power to implement their reform and debt-reduction plans will be replaced regardless of their tenure," the ministry said in a press release.

Minister Yoon's remarks came about two weeks after the government told 12 major debt-ridden public enterprises that are all under the wing of the industry ministry, including Korea Electric Power Corp., Korea Gas Corp., Korea National Oil Corp., to come up with what it called a self-rescue plan that will, first and foremost, reduce their debts.

Yoon told the public firms under his ministry's leadership to submit improved plans before the end of next month, noting that the ones submitted earlier, especially those from the three energy companies, lacked concrete measures to bring about significant changes before the terms of their incumbent heads expire, according to the ministry.

The minister noted some may have to continue expanding their investment, but said even they must work to minimize or even prevent any increase of their debts. (Yonhap News)

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