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S Korea Vice FM Reaffirms Central Bank's Independence On Monetary Policy

Updated:2010-02-09 17:58:11

South Korea's vice finance minister on Friday denied media suspicion that the government is seeking to step in the central bank's role on overall monetary policy direction, reaffirming the Bank of Korea (BOK)'s independence.

"In fundamental, there is no doubt the BOK is entrusted with the full authority over the independence of the monetary policy," Vice Finance Minister Hur Kyung-wook told reporters before he attended the BOK's monthly monetary policy committee meeting.

"There seems to be some misunderstanding over the government's intention," Hur said, referring to his participation in the meeting.

"The move came as a need for coordination emerged amid the global financial crisis and is expected to help improve risk management of the local economy," he added.

The finance ministry announced Thursday that the vice finance minister will attend the meeting this year, which sparked back lash and criticism from local media, analysts, and the bank union that the move may undermine the independence of the BOK.

Government officials have not taken part in the meetings unless in emergency, as the government has guaranteed the independence of the nation's central bank.

The government and the finance ministry have lately been showing signs of disputes, with the BOK head repeatedly hinting at a possible interest hike, whereas the finance ministry stressing the need for continued accommodative monetary policies.

Amid heightened attention to the issue, the central bank announced to keep the key interest rate at a record low of 2 percent for the 11th consecutive month, citing lingering uncertainties in the growth path.

 

Source:www.chinaview.cn

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