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[Bills in Focus] Human rights and environmental due diligence, more exemptions from development charges

Sept. 18, 2023 - 18:07 By Korea Herald

Proposed bill: Act on Human Rights and Environment Protection for Sustainable Business Administration of Corporations

Proposed by Rep. Jung Tae-ho (Democratic Party of Korea)

● ESG policies are now considered a key factor in business management in achieving corporate sustainability and long-term value. In tandem with the global trend of mandating human rights and environmental due diligence within supply chains, this bill requires companies to create plans for implementing human rights and environmental due diligence, including the appointment of a responsible manager. It also establishes a committee tasked with deliberating plans and results regarding human rights and environmental due diligence.


Proposed bill: Environmental, Social and Governance Management Promotion Act

Proposed by Rep. Lee Won-wook (Democratic Party of Korea)

● As ESG becomes an increasingly important non-financial indicator of business performance, the government has begun introducing policies to encourage domestic corporations to integrate ESG into their operation strategy. This bill prescribes the responsibilities of the State, local governments, corporations, and financial institutions to promote ESG management and investment. It also requires the government to foster and implement a master plan to promote ESG management every five years, establish the ESG Promotion Committee under the Prime Minister, and create guidelines for human rights and environmental due diligence and information disclosure criteria.


Pending bill: Partial Amendment to the Depositor Protection Act

Proposed by Rep. Joo Ho-young (People Power Party)

● In consideration of the threefold increase in gross domestic product per capita since 2001, this amendment reinforces the protection of depositors by modifying the deposit insurance coverage limit. It sets a separate deposit insurance system for different financial business types with an insurance coverage cap limit of 100 million won ($75,330). The amendment also requires such limits to be reviewed every five years.


Promulgated bill: Enforcement Decree of the Restitution of Development Gains Act

Competent Authority: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

● As a way of alleviating regional economic disparities and supporting small-scale development projects, this bill allows development projects conducted in metropolitan cities other than the Seoul Metropolitan area or Sejong City on a land smaller than 1,000 square meters to be exempt from development charges, if the project was authorized between September 1, 2023, and December 31, 2024. Previously, development charges were levied on projects on a land minimum of 660 square meters.


Administrative announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Income Tax Act

Competent Authority: Ministry of Economy and Finance

● To enhance the transparency of trade unions’ accounting practices, this amendment enables members of a trade union to receive tax credits on their membership fees paid from this October to December if the trade unions have publicly disclosed their 2022 accounting settlements through the new public disclosure system.


The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by local law firm DR & AJU LLC to provide the latest information on bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.


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Bills in Focus