The Seoul metropolitan government is pushing a new law granting discounts to owners of cleaner-burning and fuel-efficient cars using the city's public car parks, officials reportedly said on Sunday.

This will encourage drivers to drive more environmentally friendly cars in a city faced with increasing pollution problems, the city government told the Korea Times.

The draft plan will be submitted to the city council next month.

The vehicles to benefit will be fuel cell and other electric-powered cars, hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) cars, and conventional petrol-powered cars meeting certain emission standards. Drivers will enjoy a 50% discount when using public car parks and an 80% discount when using subway station car parks.

Light passenger vehicle owners enjoy identical benefits, the paper noted.

"We decided to provide the same incentives to owners of environment-friendly cars we provide to owners of light passenger cars, part of our long-term plans to reduce air pollution,'' a Seoul Metropolitan Government transportation bureau official told the Korea Times.

The paper said the Seoul city government had been attempting to reduce air pollution in its downtown areas by promoting the use of environment-friendly cars. Since 2002, the city has provided more than 2,800 low-exhaust vehicles for public servants.

City officials have also installed emission-control devices in more than 14,000 trucks and other non-passenger vehicles during the same period, the report added.