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South Korean PM will take responsibility for scrapping Sejong City Bill

SEOUL: Prime Minister Chung Un-chan said on Wednesday, June 30 that he will shoulder full responsibility for the South Korean government's failure to have its revised bill on the Sejong City project pass the National Assembly, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

The parliament, where the ruling party holds a majority, on Tuesday voted down the bill that would have built a science and business hub in the southern city instead of the initially planned administrative town.

"As an architect of the revised bill, I will take a full responsibility for failing to pass the bill through parliament," Chung said in a nationally broadcast speech, hoping that with this announcement, the controversy and conflicts would stop.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who campaigned on building an administrative city, backed down on his vow after taking office, saying the plan
is impractical and would create administrative inefficiencies. 

His critics labelled his flip-flopping a "betrayal" to the public who bought his campaign pledge.

Lee's amendment, now scrapped, would have created a business and science hub named Sejong, housing branches of local business giants and universities. 

Several foreign and local firms had planned to invest about 4.5 trillion won (RM12 billion) in total into the new city, lured by the government's pledge of
tax benefits and cheaper land prices.

Chung, a former college professor who was appointed to the top Cabinet job last September, has been a leading advocate of the alternative development plan. -- Bernama
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