Korea's public sector debt exceeds $770 billion in 2012Updated: 2014-02-14 PM 9:54:09 (KST)
Korea's public sector debt represented 64-and-a-half percent of the nation's gross domestic product in 2012.
The finance ministry said Friday that the total amount of debt owed by the central and provincial governments and non-financial state-run companies stood at over 820-trillion won, or roughly 770-billion U.S. dollars as of the end of 2012.
That is up more than 63-billion dollars from the previous year.
The ministry said that the debt figures represent new government data that is based on the latest international guidelines set by the International Monetary Fund.
The data excludes money borrowed by state-run financial companies like the Bank of Korea and the Korea EximBank.
The ministry explained that including the debt of state-run financial companies could distort the final figures because their deposits are counted as debt.
With the new data, the ministry aims to offer the public a clearer picture of the debt situation in the public sector and encourage public sector businesses to operate more transparently.
The Korean government recently launched a drive to reform the nation's public organizations, urging them to reduce debt and streamline their business operations.
The nation's public organizations have been facing mounting criticism for having lax management despite their growing debt.
The IMF said that the new government data is a measure of the administration's will to make data collection practices more transparent and bring them in line with international standards.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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