September 03, 2020 12:53
The government plans to create an agency that monitors the real estate market to detect and punish illicit practices, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday.
Hong said the agency is needed because there are limits to what an existing team can do.
The plan is to bolster the 13-strong staff of the existing inter-agency team, which includes tax officials, prosecutors and police, to create the new agency.
The government hopes to enact the necessary laws this month. The agency will be empowered to access the financial and tax records of private citizens. But that is legally dicey.
Prof. Kwon Dae-jung at Myongji University said, "Giving a supervisory agency access to financial and tax information of individual citizens constitutes invasion of privacy. It's not easy to distinguish between normal and speculative real estate transactions, and there is a chance that the government will start meddling in the business of all citizens in the name of cracking down on speculators."
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