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(LEAD) Rival parties reach agreement on extra budget plan

All News 01:39 September 01, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with agreement; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ruling and opposition parties reached agreement on an extra budget plan Wednesday in a breakthrough compromise after marathon negotiations to resolve differences over where to spend the additional money.

The ruling Saenuri Party, the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea and the minor People's Party reached the deal on the 11 trillion won (US$9.82 billion) supplementary budget proposal late Wednesday night after a series of budget committee and subcommittee meetings since earlier in the morning.

The parties agreed to pass the budget through the budget committee and the plenary session Thursday.

Saenuri has claimed that the budget should put top priority on revitalizing the national economy and creating more jobs, while Minjoo insisted that the budget should also be allocated on education programs.

In a compromise, the rival parties agreed to increase 200 billion won in the budget for educational facilities.

The main opposition party also said that the extra budget should be spent on helping companies that were ejected from the joint inter-Korean industrial zone in North Korea.

In the final agreement, the rival parties set aside aside no funds for the purpose for now, but promised to make efforts to help compensate the damage the firms suffered from the industrial park's closure.

Political watchers had warned that the delayed passage of the supplementary budget will adversely impact the national economy.

South Korea's presidential office also has been urging the parliament to speed up the negotiations, adding that the budget needs to be implemented on a timely manner to effectively lend support to the economy.


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