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National Assembly fails to pass basic pension bill
MARCH 01, 2014 05:38  
The National Assembly on Friday failed to enact a law on basic pensions during the February extraordinary session, disrupting the administration`s plan to start paying basic pensions in July.

Jun Byung-hun, the floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, told a general meeting of lawmakers Friday that the proposal for basic pensions passed at the February session "because President Park Geun-hye and the ruling Saenuri Party broke their promises."

Choi Kyoung-hwan, the ruling Saenuri Party`s floor leader, criticized the opposition party for blocking the passage of the basic pensions bill "by repeating excessive demands that would put the nation under piles of debts while disregarding senior citizens` opinions." Although the rival parties can agree to hold a one-point session in March, the handling of the pension bill will be postponed until the April session.

The government and the Saenuri Party calls for paying up to 200,000 won (187.35 U.S. dollars) to elderly people aged 65 or older who are in the bottom 70 percentile in incomes in connection with the existing national pensions. However, the opposition party insists that the basic pensions be paid to the 80 percentile and not linked to the national pensions, arguing that the government`s proposal could be disadvantageous to those who contributed to the national pensions for a long time.

Separately, the parliament passed about 130 bills, including those on reforming the state prosecution. The National Assembly also passed a bill for the revision of The Personal Information Protection Act that would require financial institutions and public organizations to keep their customers` sensitive resident registration numbers by encrypting them. Other bills passed include a law banning unregistered private loan agencies from promoting their loans via mobile phone text messages and the so-called "pay as you go" bill requiring lawmakers to present funding measures when they propose a bill that requires fiscal spending.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee on science, broadcast and communications failed to narrow differences on the controversial broadcast bill. The committee has failed to pass any single bill since the September 2013 regular session.

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