The total value of gift certificates issued in South Korea last year accounted for more than 50 percent of the country's money printed by the central bank, a report showed Sunday.
Some 11.3 trillion won ($10 billion) worth of gift vouchers, mobile coupon and revenue stamps were issued in 2016, according to a report by Rep. Shim Ki-joon of the ruling Minjoo Party.
This is equivalent to 56.2 percent of 20.2 trillion won worth of money printed by the Bank of Korea in the same one-year period.
The report noted that it is hard to estimate the exact amount of gift cards issued in the country due to a loophole in related laws and because such certificates can be used for tax evasion, rebates, bribery or corporate slush funds.
Last year, the Korea Consumer Agency received 1,872 complaints about gift vouchers, compared to 1,973 cases in 2015 and 1,794 in 2014, added the report.
Rep. Shim said it is necessary to enact new laws to regulate issuance and circulation of gift certificates in a bid to improve transparency in the market. (Yonhap)