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(3rd LD) National Assembly passes extra budget bill ahead of local elections

All News 22:38 May 29, 2022

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES first two paras with passage of extra budget bill)
By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly on Sunday passed a 62 trillion-won (US$49.4 billion) extra budget bill, aimed mainly at helping small merchants affected by the pandemic, just three days before the local elections.

The bill was approved in a plenary session after the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) agreed to add 2.6 trillion won to the 59.4 trillion won proposed by the government.

Rep. Kweon Sung-dong (R) of the People Power Party speaks at a press conference after agreeing with the Democratic Party on the extra budget on May 29, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

The largest-ever extra budget -- the first under the Yoon Suk-yeol government and the eighth during the pandemic -- calls for a 39 trillion won spending plan, including cash handouts to small merchants, and 23 trillion won in grants to regional governments.

Under the agreement, some 3.71 million merchants and micro business owners will be eligible for cash handouts of between 6 million won and 10 million won each.

The PPP and the DP also agreed to provide 2 million won to freelance workers and artists, up from 1 million won in the proposed extra budget.

The extra budget is mainly aimed at supporting pandemic-hit merchants and antivirus efforts and stabilizing people's livelihoods amid high inflation, officials said.

Officials said no state bonds will be issued to finance the extra budget, which will rely on the government's extra revenue.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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