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S. Korean leaders agree on US$ 17.7 billion relief fund plan Updated: 2021-03-01 10:13:16 KST

The ruling Democratic Party and the government have agreed on a plan to make emergency relief payments worth a total of 20 trillion won, or about 17.7 billion U.S. dollars.
In a high-level meeting Sunday between the government, the ruling Democratic Party and the presidential office, they agreed to draw up a supplementary budget proposal to fund the country's fourth round of COVID-19 relief payments this week.
With the fourth round, they aim to minimize blind spots.
The payments will be going out to a wider group of people this time.

"We've broadened aid for groups whose employment is at risk to include freelancers and corporate taxi drivers. We can now give special scholarships to university students who are going through economic difficulties due to their parents having lost their jobs or their stores.

The payments this time will be going to two million people more than the last round.
A bill for the extra budget will be submitted to the National Assembly this coming Thursday.

"Under close agreement between the government and the ruling party, we will come up with a system to compensate for losses. A profit-sharing scheme will serve as a stepping stone to overcome the crisis."

The budget plan includes the money needed for vaccine purchases, building up infrastructure for their rollout, and free vaccinations for all Korean citizens.
The payments could be disbursed as soon as the end of March.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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