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S. Korean finance minister vows swift use of 2nd supplementary budget, support for businesses Updated: 2021-08-05 13:35:46 KST

South Korea's Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki stressed the need to minimize the pandemic-driven downturn and quickly support those hit hard by the pandemic to foster economic recovery.
During an emergency economic meeting on Thursday, Hong said that the country's economic recovery appears to have ground to a halt amid the fourth wave of COVID-19.
In response, he vowed to swiftly use the second supplementary budget of this year as well as ramp up anti-virus measures during August and September.
Of the roughly 30 billion U.S. dollar extra budget, Hong said 90 percent of the relief funds will be rolled out by the end of next month.
The government is looking into additional measures to support small businesses, such as a deferral of tax payments and social insurance premiums in the second half of the year.
It also plans to review whether or not to extend debt maturity and hold off interest payments set to expire at the end of September.
Further details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the minister said the latest wave was somewhat different from the third outbreak.
Hong said that due to the country's speedy vaccination drive and anti-virus efforts, credit card payments are showing positive signs with an increase in online sales hinting that the economy will not suffer as much.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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