On June 14th, February, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced its report on modifying the functions of public organizations which are related to energy, environment, and education. This adjustment is a crucial part of the government’s resolution to normalize public organization, based on operating situation examination on each organization and experts’ opinion convergence. Reduction of task redundancy, magnification of civil opening, and improvement of management efficiency were the major points considered during this reexamination.
After the announcement, the plan that has been controversial is about energy sector’s civil opening, especially to electricity and gas industry. Till now, South Korea’s electricity retail has been monopolized by Korean Electricity Power Corporation. However, the Ministry stated it is going to set competitive system on the electricity industry through gradual civil opening. The same policy will be applied to the gas wholesale, which will be opened to the civil by activating civil direct import. Private companies may also be available to enter other minor tasks of Korean Electricity Power Corporation and Korean Gas Corporation such as designing nuclear generating station.
Even though any specific plans to progress public opening were not announced, national opinions are obviously divided into two: one claiming that competition among several private companies at the market will make the price low, and the other that the industry might be monopolized by conglomerates, totaling social benefits. Since the gas and electricity play major roles in people’s living, the government must take citizens’ fundamental needs for those two goods into consideration. As this function adjustment will be taken on sales, the government must closely research possibly price changes after private opening.