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National Assembly passes 558 tln-won national budget for 2021

All News 20:45 December 02, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a 558 trillion-won (US$506 billion) national budget for 2021 that includes nearly 4 trillion won allotted for additional COVID-19 relief funds and coronavirus vaccine purchases.

The assembly's plenary session overwhelmingly approved the 2021 budget bill in a 249-26 vote. Twelve lawmakers abstained.

It marks the first national budget approved by the National Assembly within the legal deadline since 2014, as fierce partisan wrangling often made it difficult to pass such bills on time.

By law, the National Assembly is required to approve the state budget for the following year by Dec. 2 every year.

This year's prompt budget passage signifies rival parties' keen sense of urgency for the need to help the country ride out the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic devastation.

National Assembly passes 558 tln-won national budget for 2021 - 1

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) together negotiated the inclusion of 3.9 trillion won to the government-proposed budget, to provide the country's third round of COVID-19 emergency relief funds and purchase coronavirus vaccines.

Three trillion won will be used to financially help small business owners and others hit hard by the recent resurgence of coronavirus infections and the rest will be spent to vaccinate some 44 million people.

The approved budget represents an increase of 2.2 trillion won from what the government initially proposed in September, before the recent third wave of mass virus infections.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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