SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s new government will streamline public organisations, the finance minister said on Friday, citing concerns about efficiency after a rapid expansion in their operations under the previous administration.
The government will cut the number of employees and reduce expenses at the organisations as the first step in a planned series of reform measures, Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho was quoted in a statement as saying at a scheduled meeting.
President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May, has promised to reform the public sector and said early this month his government would aggressively cut expenditure and sell non-core assets at public enterprises.
The move came as Yoon suffers a sustained decline in approval ratings, with the latest weekly opinion poll from Gallup Korea showing on Friday his approval fell to 28% from 32% a week earlier.
Choo said a total of 350 public organisations were employing 449,000 people as of the end of May and carrying 583 trillion won ($449 billion) in combined liabilities at the end of 2021, up 34% and 17% over the past five years, respectively.
There were concerns among the general public and experts about efficiency and profitability matching the rapid expansion in scale of public organisations, he said.
($1 = 1,298.4200 won)
(Reporting by Choonsik Yoo)