By Lee Haye-ah
SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol asked Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Monday to gather various opinions on a contentious bill requiring government purchase of surplus rice, his spokesperson said.
Yoon has been widely expected to veto the revision to the Grain Management Act, which requires the government to buy excess rice if production exceeds the estimate of demand by 3-5 percent, or if prices fall by 5-8 percent or more compared with the previous year.
The main opposition Democratic Party used its majority to pass the bill through the National Assembly last week despite opposition from the ruling People Power Party. Yoon has repeatedly voiced his objections to the bill, saying it would lead to a waste of government resources and the money should instead be invested in developing farming villages.
"The president asked Prime Minister Han to collect opinions through close consultations between the government and the ruling party," presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon told a press briefing.
During their weekly meeting, the two also discussed South Korea's campaign to host the 2030 World Expo in the port city of Busan, 325 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
Han told the president the government will draw on the capabilities of both the private and public sectors to demonstrate the country's ability and commitment to hosting the event to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), an intergovernmental body in charge of overseeing the Expo.
"The president again urged Prime Minister Han to go all out to prepare for the BIE Expo inspection team's visit to South Korea in early April," Lee said.