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(LEAD) Price ceiling raised for agricultural, livestock gifts to public officials starting Wednesday

All News 16:07 August 29, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 8, 10)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- A revision of the anti-corruption law will be enforced later this week, easing restrictions on the price of gifts that can be provided to public officials and some other professions, according to the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission on Tuesday.

The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, commonly known as the Kim Young-ran law, named after a former Supreme Court justice, came into effect in 2016. It prohibits public officials and individuals in specific roles, such as journalists and educators, from accepting meals and gifts above a certain price threshold.

Under the revision of the act's enforcement ordinance that passed through a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, the price ceiling for agricultural and livestock products will be raised from the current 100,000 won (US$76) to 150,000 won. The price ceiling for gifts during major holiday seasons will be raised from 200,000 won to 300,000 won.

The revision will be enforced starting Wednesday, the commission said.

The holiday season provision applies starting 24 days before the Lunar New Year holiday and Chuseok holiday until five days afterward.

This year's Chuseok holiday is on Sept. 29, and the time period will be applied from Sept. 5 to Oct. 4.

Mobile gift vouchers and concert tickets will also be included on the list of prohibited gifts under the revision to reflect the current trend, wherein more people exchange voucher gifts via smartphone, according to the commission.

Mobile vouchers with items such as coffee and dessert priced under 50,000 won will be allowed, the commission said.

The revision comes amid mounting calls from the industry suggesting an even greater increase or the complete removal of the price ceiling to boost domestic consumption.

"Voices from all walks of life have demanded the revision to support the struggling agricultural, livestock and fisheries industries and to revitalize the cultural and artistic sectors," Chairman Kim Hong-il told a press briefing.

(LEAD) Price ceiling raised for agricultural, livestock gifts to public officials starting Wednesday - 2


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