Ruling party vows to revise law to designate heat waves as natural disasters
SEOUL, The ruling Democratic Party (DP) said it will push to revise a law to designate extreme heat waves as natural disasters this month while calling on the government to mull measures to ease the burden of high electricity charges.
South Korea has been gripped by scorching weather for weeks, with temperatures in Seoul hitting 38.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the second-highest level on record.
"In an August parliamentary session, we will expedite our efforts to include extremely hot weather in the law on disasters and safety," said Kim Tae-nyeon, the DP's top policymaker.
"Even before the law revision, the DP will explore measures with the government to minimize damage from heat waves," he said.
If passed, the law will allow the government to provide more systemic responses to heat waves and to provide compensation for hot weather-related damage.
Kim stressed the need for measures to ease the burden of rising electricity charges for low-income families and small business owners amid long stretches of hot weather.
"The government should immediately consider various steps including the revision of the (electricity) rate system or tax refunds," he said.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon ordered government officials on Tuesday to consider ways to cut electricity bills temporarily.
Source: Yonhap News Agency