558 trillion-won, or roughly 504 billion U.S. dollars for 2021.
South Korea’s biggest budget so far is to be put up for a full-floor vote on Wednesday afternoon.
This comes after the ruling Democratic Party and the main opposition People Power Party reached an agreement on Tuesday to pass the bill, with an additional increase of 2.2 trillion won from the initial proposal in order to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
That extra amount will be covered by national bonds.
This was the first time in 11 years that the budget was higher than the proposal.
Three trillion won, or some 2.7 billion dollars will be allocated for a third round of assistance funds for small business owners and self-employed people hit hard by the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
The 2021 budget will also include 814 million dollars earmarked for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the ruling party, with the 300 million dollars already secured, it will be enough to provide vaccinations for 44-million people.
Other extra spending is aimed at stabilizing housing, expanding care facilities, and helping the country achieve the 2050 net zero carbon emissions targets.
But there were some cuts to funds related to ‘Korean New Deal’.
Should the bill pass at the National Assembly’s plenary session as planned, it will be the first time in six years that the budget has been passed on time.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.

Reporter : jychoi@arirang.com

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