Price ceiling raised for agricultural, livestock gifts to public officials

The Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission on Monday approved a revision of the anti-corruption law to ease restrictions on the price of gifts that can be provided to public officials and some other professions.

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, the price ceiling for agricultural and livestock products will be raised from the current 100,000 won (US$75) to 200,000 won. The price ceiling for gifts during major holiday seasons will be raised from 200,000 won to 300,000 won.

The holiday season provision applies starting from 24 days before the Lunar New Year holiday and the 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.

The commission also decided to include mobile gift vouchers and concert tickets on the list of prohibited gifts under the law to reflect the current trend, wherein more people exchange voucher gifts via smartphone.

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

Source: Yonhap News Agency