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Corrupt workers at state-run firms to get stronger punishment

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill that would punish corrupt employees at state-run firms the same as government officials, which the government said is a measure aimed at increasing transparency in the management of local public firms.

The revised law on provincial public firms is subject to approval from the parliament.

All employees of state-run companies, if the bill is endorsed, can face expulsion from work if found to have committed such irregularities as bribe-taking and embezzlement.

Currently, the strict punishment is only applied to civil servants and senior employees of local public firms.

The Cabinet also passed a bill calling for the introduction of a permit system for livestock farmers starting next year to better regulate the local agricultural sector plagued by frequent outbreaks of animal diseases, the government said.

Under the bill that now awaits parliamentary approval, large corporate farms would be required to get a permit by 2012. The system will be expanded to include all small-scale farms raising cattle, pigs, chicken and ducks by 2015. Farms engaged in animal breeding and chick hatching would also have to get a permit next year regardless of the number of animals raised, the government said. 

(Yonhap News)