President Moon Jae-in has vowed to use South Korea's full fiscal capacity to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, calling for parliamentary cooperation for the swift passage of a third extra budget.
Chairing an emergency economic council session on Monday, Moon said that there must be an economic rebound in the second half of the year, as the South Korean economy contracted 1.4 percent on-quarter in the first three months of this year.
"The government earmarked an all-time high single extra budget as part of its drastic finance injection policies for the latter half of the year, which will be submitted to the parliament this week.
I ask for lawmakers to cooperate in swiftly screening and passing the budget to recover our economy as soon as possible."
The ruling Democratic Party and the government vowed to pass the third extra budget by as early as June.
"We will work to pass the third budget within the June extraordinary session as soon as we finish finalizing the structure of the 21st National Assembly."
Though the exact size of the budget is yet to be announced, it is widely expected to top 24 billion U.S. dollars.
It will provide over 8 billion dollars to help small enterprises, and 25 billion dollars to stabilize bond and stock markets.
The budget will also be used to create around 550,000 jobs in the digital sector, and to expand the social safety net.
The government will also raise the age for free flu shots so that an extra 2.4 million under-18s will be able to get the vaccines.
"Once the budget gets passed, the ruling party and the government hope to implement 75 percent of it within three months.
The opposition also agreed on the need for a large-scale extra budget, and claimed that it will cooperate if the proposal is deemed reasonable."
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.