The Ministry of Economy and Finance at Government Complex Sejong (The Korea Herald)
SEJONG -- The nation’s fiscal chief said Thursday that the Ministry of Economy and Finance will unveil the economic policy direction of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration next week, which highlights a full-fledged deregulation scheme for businesses as well as measures to tame inflation.
At a ministerial meeting at the government complex, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho commented on the external uncertainty, which involves a slowdown in global economic recovery and projected high inflation worldwide, citing the outlook from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“It is necessary for (the nation) to conduct a drastic paradigm shift in a bid to overcome structural crises, and to foster a virtuous circle of growth and distribution,” he said.
In consideration of the critical situation, the government is mapping out economic policies, which feature five major directions, he said. “(The government) will announce them next week after fine-tuning details (in today’s meeting).”
Choo said the first direction would be a change to the private sector-oriented economy via drastic deregulations and an overhaul of the taxation system, which would create a better business environment.
“The second would be structural reform of five core sectors -- public, labor, education, finance and services -- which is aimed at upgrading the route of the nation’s economy,” he said.
The minister has chosen preemptive measures against digitalization and demographic change for the third direction, saying that this “would foster a foothold for sustainable growth.”
The fourth would be the bolstering of social security for the underprivileged and restoring a ladder, which would make it possible for those in the low-income bracket to become middle-income or high-income earners.
Painstaking effort to stabilize consumer prices and households’ living conditions is suggested as the fifth direction.
Among these five directions, Choo said that lifting regulations would be at the core.
To achieve this, Choo said the government would establish a task force for the overhauling of regulations, comprised of the deputy prime minister and some economy-related ministers, later this month.
“In line with remarks from the president and prime minister, it is time to carry out a drastic removal of many regulations which have addressed business activities,” he said.
Mentioning serious inflationary pressure from a spike in raw material prices, he called for each economy-related ministry to prioritize controlling inflation.
Some of the measures being planned to counter spiraling consumer prices include offering discount coupons for agricultural, livestock and fishery products and offering emergency funds to the underprivileged.
Korea’s consumer price growth hit 4.8 percent on-year in April and 5.4 percent in May, which has become the main negative factor for economic growth, as it has been restricting households’ spending.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)