SEOUL, The Cabinet was set to approve a proposal on Tuesday to restrict the sale for five years of rights to buy newly built apartments given to newlyweds, the disabled and others under a special government program designed to protect the socially weak.

The proposal came after criticism that the program could be abused for speculation. Those qualified under the program can win the right to buy newly built apartments in a much easier way than ordinary people because builders set aside some units only for them.

In March, a 19-year-old and some in their early 20s were found to have won the rights to buy expensive new apartments thanks to the program. That sparked criticism that their parents used the program for wealth inheritance or speculation, with critics questioning whether they could be considered socially weak.

Currently, the sale of purchase rights for homes in regions designated as speculative areas are restricted until the homes are actually bought, which is usually for three years, but the new proposal that the Cabinet was to approve during a meeting to be presided over by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon will make it five years.

Source: Yonhap News Agency