South Korea's Cabinet on Friday has agreed on the extra budget proposal for 2022 worth almost 12 billion U.S. dollars.
This time, it's solely for pandemic-hit businesses and fighting the virus.
"What is most important now is to quickly stabilize the virus situation and minimize damage to the livelihoods of small business owners due to anti-virus measures. Furthermore, we need to ensure that the recovery trend of the overall economy is maintained as much as possible. and find a wise solution to this complex situation."
The latest supplementary budget is worth some 11.7 billion U.S. dollars.
( 1)More than 9 billion dollars will go to small businesses struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Some 3.2 million small businesses will get around 25-hundred U.S. dollars each, starting as early as mid-February.
This time, not only merchants who suffered due to COVID-19 restrictions but also those who saw a decline in sales like the accommodation sector will be eligible.
( 2)Around 1.2 billion dollars have been set aside for measures to tackle the virus, such as securing more hospital beds and COVID-19 pills.
( 3)Some 800-million dollars have been reserved to deal with unexpected spending like the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
To finance the supplementary budget, the government will issue around 9.5 billion dollars of treasury bonds and use some 2.3 billion from public reserves.
The proposal will be submitted to the National Assembly on Monday, for lawmakers to review and vote on during the upcoming plenary session.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News.