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(2nd LD) Gov't to allocate 7.8 tln won for extra budgets in stimulus package: Moon

All News 13:57 September 10, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in 3rd para, additional remarks in 5th para, from 8th para)

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government has decided to draw up a new supplementary budget, worth 7.8 trillion won (US$6.5 billion), for a "tailored" relief package to help people in urgent need amid the COVID-19 crisis.

He added that 3.8 trillion won of the budget will be used for another round of stimulus cash handouts to benefit a total of 3.77 million people.

Among them, 2.91 million small merchants and self-employed people will receive up to 2 million won each, which would cost 3.2 trillion won in total, he said while chairing the eighth emergency economic council meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during an emergency economic council meeting at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Sept. 10, 2020. (Yonhap)

Moon said he knows that the amount of planned financial support is not enough for the scale of damages that they have suffered due to the drawn-out fight against the virus.

He characterized it as "disaster relief tailored to damages" to focus on providing vulnerable people with support "as thick as possible." He added the tailored, or targeted, approach was inevitable this time.

"It is an inevitable choice to maximize the effect with limited budget resources" in a situation in which the government should issue state bonds for the aid program, with no end to the coronavirus spread in sight.

In addition, the government plans to inject 1.4 trillion won in a bid to protect 1.19 million jobs, he said.

All South Koreans, aged 13 or older, will be granted one-off support, even if the amount is "small," for their September communication fees, as their non-contact activities have soared through cooperation with the strict social distancing restrictions, according to the president.

The previous day, the government and the ruling Democratic Party agreed to pay each eligible person the 20,000 won.

Moon stressed the importance of the speedy provision of financial support for those who face a threat to their "survival" and asked the National Assembly to be quick in passing the supplementary budget bill.

He instructed related authorities to immediately begin preparations for the payment of the relief money so that it can be done ahead of the Chuseok holiday, which falls on Oct. 1 this year.

It would mark the country's fourth batch of extra budget this year.

Earlier this year, the Moon administration offered "universal" disaster relief money of up to 1 million won for every household.

President Moon Jae-in (C) delivers his opening remarks during an emergency economic council meeting at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Sept. 10, 2020. (Yonhap)


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