Parties meet over bills on economy, deregulation
SEOUL, July 31 (Yonhap) -- Officials from ruling and opposition parties held a meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to pass key bills on deregulation and people's livelihoods in next month's parliamentary session.
It was the meeting of a task force that was launched by the ruling Democratic Party (DP), the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) to discuss the motions.
The rival parties earlier agreed to discuss how to handle such bills in an extraordinary session in August, but they differed on the details of the bills' content.
The National Assembly was put back on track in early July after having been inactive for more than 40 days, due mainly to the June 13 local elections.
The DP wants the National Assembly to focus on passing the so-called five bills on regulatory innovations.
The motions include an introduction of a "regulatory sandbox" that will allow companies in new, innovative industries to operate free from excessive regulations for a certain period of time.
But the LKP called for dealing with a bill on "regulation-free zones" that call for across-the-board deregulation in designated industries.
Also pending are a bill aimed at allowing industrial capital to take a bigger stake in Internet-based banks and a revised bill on protecting commercial tenants.
The passage of bills on people's livelihoods is also a matter of particular urgency as the Korean economy is slowing due to sluggish facility investment and weak exports.
Small business owners reacted angrily to steep hikes in the minimum wage, saying that they cannot shoulder rising labor costs.
The party officials plan to meet next Tuesday to discuss the bills.
Source: Yonhap News Agency