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Over 80 pct of extra budget-funded relief aid to be offered by May

Finance 10:57 March 26, 2021

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to provide more than 80 percent of another extra budget-funded relief aid to pandemic-hit smaller merchants by May, a senior government official said Friday.

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the 15 trillion-won (US$13 billion) extra budget designed to finance the 20.7 trillion-won aid package for the self-employed and vulnerable groups battered by the pandemic.

Second Vice Finance Minister An Il-whan said more than 80 percent of the 7.3 trillion-won budget set aside to provide emergency cash handouts to smaller merchants will be provided by the end of May. Some 4.83 million self-employed people will be eligible for the cash handouts.

The latest supplementary budget marked the country's fifth extra budget designed to help ease economic pains caused by the new coronavirus outbreak.

Since last year, the government has created four rounds of pandemic emergency handouts, including the latest one. In May last year, the 14.3 trillion won in stimulus checks was doled out to all households.

This file photo, taken March 3, 2021, shows a sign announcing a temporary closure due to the pandemic that was put up at a shop in Seoul's shopping district of Myeongdong. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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