[EDITORIALS]Don’t rush reform of land rules

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[EDITORIALS]Don’t rush reform of land rules

The government has decided to drastically overhaul land-related regulations. Lee Hun-jai, deputy prime minister and minister of finance and economy, said he would re-examine the regulations from the beginning and provide the blueprints for the new regulations by June.
The government is on the right path. It is inevitable that the demand for land increase as the population and the size of economy grow larger. However, the amount of land available, already in short supply, has been more restricted due to the current chaotic regulations.
As a result, the price of land has spiked, enterprises have moved overseas, and regular people suffer from real estate speculation. High land prices have been blamed for weakening our national competitiveness.
It is unbelievable how complicated the situation is, especially because there are 298 areas and zones classified under 112 laws that impose limits on land use. The new economic team’s timing couldn’t be better ― we need to simplify the complicated regulations now.
Yet we cannot help but to worry about the possibility that this venture could be manipulated by serious real estate speculation.
Already with the general election coming up, the real estate market has been in turmoil, as the central and municipal governments are coming up with development plans as well as regulations appeasement proposals.
If the government lifts the regulation on land use without a solid plan to restrict speculation, the entire country will become a full of speculators, and it will be more difficult for ordinary people to own a house and enterprises to find industrial sites.
While throwing out unnecessary regulations, the government should provide extensive management for lands that should be preserved and strong regulations.
A master plan that prevents reckless development, traffic congestion and environmental damage is necessary.
Several public departments and municipal governments that have a common interest with the Ministry of Construction and Transportation should put aside any personal greed and actively cooperate for the sake of a desirable future for our nation.
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