South Korea's Finance Ministry said Sunday it will make efforts to reduce liabilities in 18 debt-ridden public firms by 2017 in a bid to tighten what has been lax management.
Under the plan, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said the 18 public firms will be required to tighten their belts to curb the debt increase amount to 45.9 trillion won ($42.8 billion) from the initial plan for a 85.4 trillion won increase.
South Korea's 38 public firms will also reduce the budget for employees' benefits by 22.9 percent, or 160 billion won, with 20 designated organizations required to cut welfare by 37.1 percent.
Public companies with high debts are to sell their assets to improve financial health, with Korea Railroad Corp. and Korea Electric Power Corp. offloading their real estate assets and shares to secure 1.9 trillion won and 1.5 trillion won, respectively.
The latest moves came in line with the government's "normalization" plan in which it called on public companies to come up with measures to reduce their debts and rectify any "abnormal" management practices.
Public companies have come under fire for handing out what many see as excessive bonuses, benefits and perks to their employees despite their fast-growing debts and deteriorating business conditions. (Yonhap News)