Supreme People’s Assembly’s 2007 Budget… Financial Estimate $3.1bn

[imText1]Changes to the North Korean Cabinet Ministry, Kim Young Il elected as the new Prime Minister, Kim Young Choon as Vice-Chairman of the National Defense Commission

At the 5th round of the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly announced on the 5th, the change in economic policies that would in future concentrate on the people’s livelihood and suspend the advancement of technological skills.

In the report, the deputy Prime Minister revealed that the major economic task for the upcoming year included light industries and agriculture, which had already been completed, and the improvement of the people’s livelihood. He said that the issue of social economic management had been discussed and that it would be resolved “our way.”

The 2007 report by the Supreme People’s Assembly proposed to, i) improve the basic standards of living in relation to agriculture and light industries, ii) enhance the manufacture of potential energy starting with the prioritizing the department into 4 divisions, iii) modernization of public economy and iv) manage sosicalistic economy through the our own.

Furthermore, foreign collaboration was proposed to further investments into advanced technology. In relation, the third phase proposal was made over a 5 year period (`08~`12) to improve technological skills such as the advancement of basic skills, high technology and software.

In contrast to last year, North Korea estimated an increase in revenue at 433.2bn won ($30.9bn, $1=141won). Last year, 5.9% were considered the public revenue, whereas this year, this figure was raised to 7.1%.

As for tax resources, national business gains tax was increased to 6.4%, cooperative organizations fund set at 4.5%, depreciation amount 9.6%, real estate fees 15.4%, and social welfare tax at 15.1%

Regarding expenses, science-technological skills among people’s economic expense increased to 60.3%, net business income is estimated to be 2% which will aid new measures to develop enterprise skills. In addition, proposals were made to increase agricultural expenses to 8.5%, light industries to 16.8%, energy, coal, metalwork and railroad to 11.9%

In relation to this, a South Korean governmental official revealed, “At this Supreme People’s Assembly, economic improvement proposal was mainly revealed without any announcement on foreign policies or sort of legislation of reform or openness.

Since last year, there have been rumors that a change in government would occur amidst the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly. While Park Bong Joo stepped down from his position, Kim Young Il, formally in charge of transportation was elected as the new prime minister. It has been three and half years since Park Bong Joo first took his prime ministerial post at the first round of the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly in September 2003.

Former Prime Minister Park is known to have ceased his duties since last year June. He has been suspected of transferring money from the agriculture’s oil funds. At the 20th High Level Cabinet Talks in Pyongyang in February, a South Korean representative did mention that Prime Minister Park had made a welcoming speech. However, it seems that he has been ousted from his position.

Additionally, with the death of Yeon Hyung Mook in October 2005, Kim Young Choon is known to have succeeded the position of Vice Chairman as well as taking on the role of military counselor.

Regarding, the new appointments, a governmental official said that the Cabinet’s Prime Minster, Kim Young Il would aim to solve the economic issue while Kim Young Choon as the new Vice Chairman would aim to organize the structure of the ministry and strengthen the military.

While Kim Jong Il did not attend the last round of meetings, the fact that he participated in the recent meeting has also gathered much interest.

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