Over 17 billion U.S. dollars.
That's the amount the South Korean government wants approved for the country's fourth batch of COVID-19 relief funds to support 6.9 million people.
It will be funded by some 13 billion dollars from a supplementary budget bill which would require almost 9 billion dollars' worth of government bond issuance and about 4 billion dollars allocated from this year's state budget.
The government passed the extra budget bill Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting, and plans to submit it to the National Assembly for final approval on Thursday.
Over 7 billion dollars will be used for emergency assistance for small businesses, and those at risk of losing their jobs due to the pandemic such as freelancers and corporate taxi drivers.
The beneficiaries will also include a broader range of small businesses such as those with five or more employees, and those with annual sales of less than some 9-hundred thousand dollars, up from previous cap of about 360-thousand dollars.
Around 2-and-a-half billion dollars will be used for emergency employment measures, and some 3.7 billion for vaccine purchases and free vaccinations.
As for the roughly four billion dollars from this year's state budget, more than half will be used to support small and mid-sized enterprises.
About 1.6 billion dollars will promote job retention, and the rest going to support the underprivileged.
The funds are expected to be distributed as early as the end of March.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.