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Gov't, ruling party push to pass 'biggest' COVID-19 response budget this month

All News 10:08 June 01, 2020

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- The government and the ruling party agreed Monday to earmark "the biggest single supplementary budget" for the country's third round of emergency COVID-19 response financing, aimed at helping the economy fight the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic.

The government and the Democratic Party (DP), during their meeting, also vowed to pass a bill on the new COVID-19 response budget through the National Assembly in June and execute 75 percent of the budget in the next three months.

Attending the meeting, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the government plans to submit the extra budget bill to the chamber Thursday.

"It will be the biggest single supplementary budget (bill) in history, which takes all into account, bolstering (the country's) financial capability, boosting the economy in the latter half of the year and expanding the social security net," according to the finance minister.

"The government will make preparations in a way that 75 percent of the new extra budget can be spent in the following three months upon its parliamentary passage," he also said.

In late April, the National Assembly approved a 12.2 trillion-won (US$9.9 billion) extra budget as the country's second COVID-19 response special budget following the first related budget of 11.7 trillion won, approved in March.

The upcoming extra budget is widely reported to surpass the 30 trillion-won level.

Speaking to the meeting, DP floor leader, Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon said, "Ample national finances will serve as a bulwark for (securing) liquidity and stable employment."

Kim also vowed efforts for the parliamentary approval of the bill in June on behalf of his party, which controls a majority of 177 seats in the 300-member chamber.

Floor Leader Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon of the ruling Democratic Party (3rd from L), Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki (5th from L) and other party officials pose for photos during a government-party meeting held at the National Assembly in Seoul on June 1, 2020. (Yonhap)


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