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N.K. Cabinet reviews ways to grant businesses more autonomy at plenary session

All News 09:48 February 26, 2021

By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea convened an extended plenary session of its Cabinet to discuss ways to give businesses greater independence as part of efforts to achieve the economic goals set forth at last month's rare party congress, state media said Friday.

The Cabinet meeting took place Thursday via a "teleconference system" to discuss a series of important tasks set forth at the party congress and the following parliamentary session, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

At Thursday's meeting, Pak Jong-gun, vice premier of the Cabinet and chairman of the State Planning Commission, made a report calling on the need to guarantee independence to North Korean businesses.

"It set forth tasks for taking stronger measures to make constant efforts to complete the method of planning in accordance with the changing reality, level of development in productivity and the development of science and technology, and to ensure economic condition and legal environment for enterprises to independently and proactively conduct production and management activities, give full play to their creativity and promptly react to changing environment," the KCNA said.

Officials also discussed ways to improve the "Cabinet-responsibility system," which grants businesses more autonomy in their production and management.

They also called on the Cabinet's stepped-up role "as the economic headquarters of the country."

"The report analyzed and reviewed the reasons why the Cabinet and state economic guidance organs revealed again passive and self-protectionist tendency in drawing up this year's national economic plan for implementing the decisions made at the Party congress," the KCNA said.

North Korean Premier Kim Tok-hun presided over the meeting.

The North appears to be seeking ways to achieve its recently unveiled five-year economic scheme, stressing the Cabinet's central role and improving the economic system to allow autonomy to private businesses amid economic woes from global sanctions.

At the eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party last month, Kim admitted the failure to meet the country's previous five-year development goals and put forward a new five-year plan focusing on self-reliance.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C, 1st row) places his finger on a table as he joins a group photo session with Premier Kim Tok-hun (3rd from L, standing) and other newly appointed members of the Cabinet in Pyongyang on Jan. 18, 2021, in this photo captured from the North's Korean Central Television the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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