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Anti-graft law revision raises gift ceiling.

The government has revised the Anti-Graft Law to raise the price ceiling on gifts to help boost the consumption of agricultural and fisheries products.

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) held a board meeting Monday and passed the revision to the so-called Kim Young-ran act to increase the limit of monetary value of gifts to 100,000 won ($90), when more than half the gift is made of agricultural and fisheries goods, from the current 50,000 won.

Except for agricultural and fisheries products, the price ceiling for other gift items remains at 50,000 won. As a result, more people are expected to purchase agricultural, livestock and marine produce as gifts for the Lunar New Year holiday next February.

The commission also halved the limit on the amount of congratulatory or condolence money to 50,000 won, from 100,000 won. Giving cash is allowed only up to 50,000 won, but giving flowers worth up to 50,000 won at the same time is allowed.

This is a revision to an earlier law that banned public officials, journalists and teachers from being treated to meals that cost more than 30,000 won, from receiving gifts priced over 50,000 won and receiving congratulatory and condolence money over 100,000 won for weddings and funerals.

Those who offer public officials over 1 million won in cash and valuables are subject to a prison term of up to three years or a 30 million won in fines. Those who offer under 1 million won are subject to up to a 30 million won fine.

The revision followed repeated criticism from affected industries, whose officials said most of their products were sold during holidays as gifts or on special occasions.

The industry has claimed the nature of their business is greatly affected by supply and demand in the market. Subjecting the exchange of such items that are highly sensitive to market demand to criminal punishment, therefore, was tantamount to forcing them out of business, they said.

The Kim Young-ran act, named after former ACRC chief Kim who first proposed it, was set up to stamp out corruption in the public sector.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Date:Dec 11, 2017
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