Revised anti-graft law expected to boost agricultural sales: ministry

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : Jan 17, 2018 - 15:06
  • Updated : Jan 17, 2018 - 15:06
The government eased a key anti-corruption law’s limits on the value of certain gifts Wednesday, saying it hoped the change would bolster agricultural sales.

“The effectuation of the revision to the enforcement ordinance of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act is expected to bring great and positive change to agricultural and fishery industries, especially with the New Year’s holiday less than a month away,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Young-rok during a press briefing on Wednesday. 

Civil servants, journalists and teachers are now permitted to receive gifts of agricultural and fishery produce up to 100,000 won, an increase from the previous limit of 50,000 won. 

The Ministry said it would also attach stickers on the products at major department stores to inform customers about which ones are “safe to be bought and received.”

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Young-rok holds stickers that will be attached on agro-products at major department stores, during a press briefing in Sejong, Wednesday. (The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)

The revised enforcement ordinance of so-called Kim Young-ran law was proposed by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission last month, aiming to double the price ceiling on gifts specifically of agricultural, livestock and fishery goods.

The decision came amid strong protests from farming sectors, contending that they have suffered drastic decreases in sales since the law’s effectuation and that the caps were set too low without considering market prices.

The revision, on the other hand, halved the upper threshold of congratulatory or condolence money from 100,000 won to 50,000 won. 

In anticipation of the revision, the ministry said that the pre-sales figure for the Lunar New Year’s holiday gift-sets at Nonghyup Hanaro Mart has increased by 65.3 percent on-year. 

Lotte Department Store said it has increased the variations of gift sets -- such as Korean-beef set --worth of 100,000 won or less from 93 items last year to 136 items this year. 

Shinsegae Department store has also increased the number of gift sets worth 100,000 won by 33 percent on-year.

By Kim Da-sol (