[EDITORIALS]Redraw the transfer planThe plan to transfer government-affiliated institutes to the provinces is drifting at the mercy of political calculation and overheated competition to induce them to their area. The leadership of the governing Uri Party suggested suspending the move of Korea Electric Power Corp., or KEPCO, the most popular among the public enterprises on the transfer list. As a precondition, there was a proposal to construct a nuclear waste disposal facility in the area where KEPCO was to be located.
Under such difficult circumstances, the schedule to decide the plan for the move of 180 public organizations within the month has been postponed until next month. And the governing party is reluctant to get a report scheduled for today from the government. This is out of political calculation: If the place where KEPCO will move to is decided, the other cities and provinces will react against the decision. And it will cause a loss of votes for the governing party in upcoming local elections and next presidential race. The opposition party is also busy counting votes. It is watching with folded arms because its intervention will not be helpful in attracting voters. Instead of joining in a controversial debate, the party prefers to stay out of it.
Moving public institutions to provinces, the pivot of government plans to promote balanced national development, is now treated like a pariah. The governing party hesitates to support, and the opposition turns its face away. There is no way to move back. All other local autonomous bodies, except those in the Seoul area, are competing to attract influential organizations to their own areas. They are determined not to lose the benefit of enticing them to their region. The debate on the desirability of moving certain organizations to a certain locality is lost in thin air. Out of desperation, the government proposed to group them into 10, with each group having an influential member body. Then the groups would be allocated to different cities and provinces.
In whatever form the decision is made, it will never satisfy everybody. This is the result of promoting an immature plan for balanced national development. It is surprising that they promoted the plan without detailed analysis of the need to move and plans to cope with side effects of the moves. The plan to shift public institutions should be reconsidered from square one.