President Park Geun-hye has ordered officials to postpone a Cabinet meeting on regulatory reforms amid reports that she was unhappy with deregulation measures proposed by her economic team.
Park was to preside over the first round of the meeting on Monday, but Cheong Wa Dae said late Sunday evening that it would hold the meeting on Thursday to better accommodate demands from the private sector. The meeting is aimed at seeking ways to implement a series of regulatory reforms, a key part of her three-year economic innovation plan.
“The government will delay the Cabinet meeting on regulatory reform but will expand (the scale) of the meeting with members from the private sector attending,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. “This will be done to collect various opinions from the market to fully discuss the results and limits of the reform drive that has been jointly pushed by the private and the public sector,” he said.
Sources say Park’s decision shows her dissatisfaction with Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok’s proposed reforms. The president’s move was also widely seen as a disciplinary signal aimed at Hyun for his failure to reflect what the market really wants and his team’s lackadaisical attitude toward reform measures. Cheong Wa Dae, however, denied the reports.
More than 50 businessmen will be invited to the meeting on Thursday, reflecting the president’s intention to cover a wide range of demands from the private sector before the government brings up reform plans to encourage companies to invest more and create new jobs. The president was expected to unveil a deregulation road map on Monday.
During a New Year’s press conference, Park said she would push ahead with a three-year economic renovation plan to stimulate growth and raise the level of per capita income.
To accomplish the goal, the president has vowed to carry out high level reforms in both the public and private sectors as well as to encourage the creative economy and expand domestic demand. She has repeatedly urged ministers to pursue deregulation to remove obstacles to business activities and spur corporate investment.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)