Photo: Hankyung. ROK National Assembly passes a revised supplementary budget bill in reaction to COVID-19
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea approved an 11.7 trillion-won (USD 9.43 billion) worth of extra budget to respond to COVID-19 outbreak and support businesses and local economies affected.
On March 17, 2020, the Assembly voted on the revised supplementary budget bill. The bill was proposed to the parliament on March 5, taking 12 days for the bill to pass the parliament. Out of 225 MPS, 222 voted for, one against, and two abstained. The total amount of the passed supplementary budget remains unchanged from the government’s budget proposal.
The budget bill’s scheme is largely divided into four categories; advancing in disease control efforts; providing relief for small merchants and SMEs; maintaining healthy consumption and employment; and supporting local economies hit by the outbreak. Each area will be allocated KRW 2.1 trillion, 4.1 trillion, 3.5 trillion and 1.2 trillion, respectively.
The government’s proposal was revised at the parliament to expand further support for Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do province, the region stricken the hardest by COVID-19. The initial proposal for supplementary KRW 3.2 trillion for revenue adjustment was cut by KRW 2.4 trillion and KRW 0.7 trillion more was reduced from total expenditure. Instead, KRW 1 trillion was allocated for Daegu/Gyeongsangbuk-do province and 2.1 trillion was reallocated to support the general scheme.
ROK President Moon Jae-In emphasized that “the supplementary budget is not an end but a beginning,” and the emergency economic council will act as a central economic response headquarter. Timely measures, together with the supplementary budget plan, will continue to end COVID-19.
English1. (2020, March 17). Opening Remarks by President Moon Jae-in at 13th Cabinet Meeting. Retrieved from http://english1.president.go.kr/BriefingSpeeches/Speeches/779
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