Tighter surveillance on state firms
Regarding the April 19 editorial of ``Public Sector Debts," I think that supervision of public agencies and corporations should be done in a responsible way by strengthening surveillance on them by the National Assembly as well as by civil organizations.
However, the Assembly's surveillance of state firms alone is not a fundamental solution to their roaring debt ratio. The state firms are carrying out projects as guided by the government.
They are not able to reject those projects because they are under strict control of the government. For example, it is our government that allows Korea Land and Housing Corporation to supply cheaper houses than the market price. The state is also implementing the four-river refurbishment project.
The CEOs of state firms are appointed by the President and their business operations are in line with government policies. It is not possible for a CEO of a state firm to refuse any project although it lacks feasibility.
Therefore, a reliable and independent committee should be set up in order to prove the feasibility of those projects. The committee should take part in the monitoring of policy planning from the very beginning. Public works expenditure is tremendous; it must therefore be verified in a very concrete and planned way before starting a project. It might take years to investigate and to research the validity and practicability of a project.
For example, the Korea Water Resources Corp. is carrying out the four-river project after a five-month-research. This is too short a period of time in deciding to take the business.
In conclusion, the state firms' debt is the taxpayer's burden because it is based on government deposits as a Moody's analyst mentioned. Tighter and more transparent supervision of government policy should be done by an independent body.