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Gov't seeks 3 pct expansion in 2017 budget

All News 09:54 June 10, 2016

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Government ministries and other public entities are hoping to boost their annual spending by 3 percent next year, the slowest rate of growth in at least six years, the finance ministry said Friday.

According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, government offices have submitted preliminary requests for their 2017 budget that totaled 398.1 trillion won (US$343.19 billion), compared with 386.4 trillion won this year.

The request, if finalized, will mark the slowest on-year expansion at least since 2012 when government spending had jumped 7.6 percent from the previous year, followed by a 6.5 percent rise in 2013 and 6.6 percent in 2014.

"Requests for an increase in budget have been on a steady decline in recent years as the government continues to reform and innovate its spending," the ministry said in a press release.

According to the preliminary requests submitted by each government ministry and other public offices, the government seeks to spend 130 trillion won on public welfare, health and employment in 2017, up 5.3 percent from this year.

Government spending on education is set to increase 3.1 percent on-year to 54.9 trillion won, but environmental spending will shrink 4.7 percent to 6.5 trillion won, according to the ministry.

The defense budget will gain 5.3 percent to 40.9 trillion won, while spending on foreign affairs and unification will drop 5.5 percent to 4.4 trillion won.

The government will finalize and submit its budget request to the National Assembly before Sept. 2, the ministry said.


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