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S. Korea announces package of steps to cut consumption
Publication Date : 24-05-2012
The South Korean government revealed plans on Wednesday to cut the nation’s oil consumption from 40 per cent of all energy use to about 33 per cent by 2015.
It also plans to extend tax benefits for owners of hybrid and mini cars and support the research and development field for green cars, including highly efficient engines and electronic cars.
The government disclosed these and other plans on Wednesday after an economic crisis management meeting at Gwacheon Government Complex.
The plans aim to lessen the burden on the nation’s economy from oil prices that may rise due to sanctions on Iran, and increased oil consumption in summer, said government officials.
The government aims to reduce oil consumption by 26 million barrels by 2015, about 20 pe rcent of the nation’s crude oil reserves of 130 million barrels.
South Korea’s oil consumption is 100 per cent reliant on imports. The nation’s gasoline and light crude oil use increased 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year while it decreased in the US and Europe.
The government will also establish plans to financially support small-scale merchants to change old freight cars to new ones and scrap decrepit cars sooner. Currently about 25,000 old cars are scrapped per year but the number will be expanded to about 65,000 annually as early as 2013, the officials said.
Those who pay public transportation fares with credit cards will receive up to 30 per cent in tax deductions, the government said. One million won reserved for transportation fares will be added to the previous tax reduction limit of 3 million won.
It also vowed to enable all public transportation throughout the nation to be usable by a single transportation card, establish a nation-wide taxi call center that can be reached by a single phone number and develop complex transfer centers in principal transportation hubs in the cities where users can easily transfer to taxis, buses or subways.
In the long term, the government said it will encourage industries to shift to other energy sources and push development of Naphtha, a type of material to produce alternative energy.
The government will urge households that use over a hundred thousand liters of tax-free fuel to set up new renewable energy air conditioning systems by 2015 and reduce tax benefits if they do not. To alleviate the cost burden for farm houses in terms of replacing machines, the government will support the installation and allow them to pay the rest of the cost in installments.