President Moon Jae-in, calling for bipartisan support to help the economy.
Speaking to his top aides in the weekly meeting the president called on lawmakers to review the government's extra budget bill worth some 5.6 billion U.S. dollars, which has been stalled in parliament over partisan differences.
"The supplementary budget bill covers two things recovery from natural and environmental disasters like fine dust pollution, the wildfires in Gangwon-do Province and the Pohang earthquake and responding to our economic situation. There isn't a thing that's not considered urgent."
It's the sixth time this month that the president has called on the parties to review and pass the extra budget, emphasizing the importance of passing it in a timely manner.
The government had submitted its version of the extra budget to parliament on the 25th of last month, in hopes of buttressing regions hit by natural disasters like wildfires and earthquakes as well as preemptively preparing for economic contingencies.
But the rival parties have been in a standoff over giving fast-track status to an electoral reform bill so that it would be in effect in time for next year’s general election in April.
So… affairs in parliament have been put off for weeks, including the review of the budget bill.
President Moon even noted that plans for an extra budget were recently welcomed by the IMF, and emp hasized the need to time the spending to get the desired outcomes.
The president, also turning to new growth engines for the Korean economy, directed his aides to promote the bio-health industry.
Referring to Korea recently making it onto the EU's whitelist for pharmaceuticals, which is expected to help with exports, President Moon called for efforts to improve Korea's competitiveness in the field, and hinted at a government-led innovative strategy for the field in the near future.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.