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Government to submit supplementary budget bill to National Assembly next Thursday Updated: 2019-04-19 04:12:38 KST

The third supplementary budget of the Moon Jae-in government will focus on matters related to people's safety as well as taking preemptive measures against economic uncertainties.

"The government will submit the bill to the National Assembly on April 25th. We will also set up a task force for the swift deliberation of the budget."

The extra budget will be used to provide support for those affected by the recent forest fires in Gangwon-do Province.
There will be measures to restore forests, as well as plans to reinforce firefighting equipment and manpower.

A portion will also be set aside to provide assistance to the southeastern city of Pohang, which was hit by the country's second worst earthquake in 2017.
The package includes special loans for small businesses in the region, as well as support for local infrastructure projects.

The government will also tackle fine-dust pollution. It plans to increase infrastructure that can better measure fine dust levels as well as come up with ways to reduce emissions.
It will also provide air purifiers in public facilities and masks for the underprivileged who work outdoors.

Some of the budget will also be used to tackle downside economic risks, especially with dim prospects for the global economy, and a slump in Korea's exports.
Funding support will be provided for small companies, while customized measures will be devised for exporters.

Although the exact size of the extra budget has not been revealed, it's not expected to exceed 6.2 billion U.S. dollars. The government and ruling party says the exact figure will be determined considering the country's tax revenue.

The two sides are aiming to get the bill passed in May. The ruling party called for cooperation from the opposition bloc, saying they should put their political interests aside.

"A number of opposition parties have been demanding the drawing up of one extra budget for natural disasters and another separate one for other purposes -- but this is just seen as a political tactic. The budget is for the people's safety and to boost their livelihoods."

But deliberations are expected to be tough.
While the opposition welcomed a helping hand for victims of natural disasters,
they say they will not accept the budget being used to sway voter sentiment in the ruling party's favor ahead of next year's general elections.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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