With only 50 days left in office, President Lee Myung-bak is pursuing a string of unpopular policies, in an apparent attempt to reduce the burden for the incoming Park Geun-hye administration.
On Wednesday, the government decided to hike electricity fees. The Knowledge Economy Ministry said it accepted a proposal by state monopoly KEPCO and plans to apply the new rates next Monday.
KEPCO is seeking to ease a looming power shortage and shore up losses through the fee hike. The last electricity fee hike was in August last year when prices rose 4.9 percent. This is the fourth increase since the second half of 2011.
The Lee administration is also trying to tax churches and other religious organizations, with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance moving to revise relevant laws.
Another plan being mulled is a special pardon around the Lunar New Year holiday next month. But a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said "no discussion" has taken place with president-elect Park. "Granting special pardons is an inherent right of the president," he added.