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New finance minister nominee unveils plans to boost Korea's economy

Updated: 2014-07-09 07:13:51 (KST)
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Finance Minister nominee Choi Kyung-hwan says his initial focus will be removing red tape and other restrictions that make it difficult for consumers to buy a home.
In his parliamentary confirmation hearing Tuesday, Choi said one area he will attend to urgently is easing what he called "outdated restrictions" on housing loans.

(Korean)
"Debt-to-income and loan-to-value rules (that have limited purchases) have been in place for more than a decade and there have been reasonable efforts to improve the system. We will come up with more reasonable measures."

Choi, who will also be a deputy prime minister if he is confirmed, said the government is requiring banks to excessively limit housing loans, as it has failed to change regulations written more than 10 years ago when there were worries about property market bubbles.
Adopted during the housing market boom, the rules strictly restrict the size of a home loan that can be given to home buyers.
But the nominee did not say how he would bring the nation's rapidly-growing household debt problem under control.
Critics say it will only get worse if loan restrictions are eased.
Choi said the need to boost domestic demand has become more urgent as the April ferry disaster prompted many consumers to refrain from leisure activities, thereby slowing the recovery.

(Korean)
"The economic team will place its focus on boosting domestic demand through increasing household income and improving consumer sentiment."

The nominee also said he was opposed to tax hikes aimed at making up for a revenue shortfall, adding that revenues should be raised by boosting economic activities, not by raising taxes.
Choi said when it comes to extra budget he said the government would take a comprehensive approach looking into the economic conditions and that the government is in the middle of crafting a budget plan for next year.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.


Reporter : mkji@arirang.co.kr

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