President Yoon Suk-yeol called Tuesday for bold measures to reform public institutions and cut back their growing debts.
Yoon issued the call during a Cabinet meeting, saying the debts of public institutions have soared over the past five years to reach 583 trillion won ($452 billion) as of the end of 2021.
"Public institution reform is a task that cannot be delayed any further," he said, lamenting that public institutions have grown in size and personnel despite their debts. "Public institution evaluations must be conducted strictly, and areas of lax management must be drastically improved."
Yoon said the government is no exception.
"We need strong structural reforms in expenditure," he said. "Finances must be used only where they are needed, and financial resources must be spent kindly and generously on the truly socially weak who desperately need government support."
Yoon has made economic revival a priority of his administration.
During the Cabinet meeting, he again sounded the alarm on the state of the economy and asked each ministry to find ways to stabilize the public's livelihoods and restore economic vitality.
He said if needed, he would hold extraordinary Cabinet sessions in addition to the regular ones to quickly pass necessary measures.
"As I emphasized last week, the greater the crisis, the more we need to firmly change the economic constitution to one that is led by the private sector and the market," he said, adding the government must also improve systems and regulations that hinder businesses. (Yonhap)