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THU, 2015-09-03 KST

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Lawmakers set sights on 7,000 pending bills at National Assembly Updated: 2014-08-01 21:59:06 KST


More than 7-thousand bills await parliamentary review, but none are perhaps as urgent as the one that is aimed at uncovering the causes of April's ferry disaster.
The rival parties continue to spar over the details of the so-called Sewol-ho ferry bill, which proposes creating a panel of inquiry to look into the tragedy, but Saenuri Party lawmakers remain opposed to giving the panel prosecutorial powers.

Other bills on the table include one that would subject civil servants and their relatives to criminal penalties if they accept more than one million won or around a thousand dollars from a third party, regardless of whether it was intended as a bribe.
The scope of the measures are under dispute by the parties, who can't agree on whether they should extend to siblings, spouses or even cousins of civil servants.

And with President Park Geun-hye urging all-out efforts to boost the economy, lawmakers are under pressure to pass a stack of economic bills.
They range from the introduction of tax schemes that encourage companies to pay higher wages and easing mortgage rules that limit loans for home buyers to support for companies that transition temporary employees into permanent positions.

The ruling Saenuri Party's victory in this week's by-election raised its number of seats to 158 in the 300 member National Assembly.
That means the governing party can now push bills through the parliament unilaterally without the cooperation of the main opposition party.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.

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