Moon reiterates call to swiftly pass extra budget bill

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday reiterated his call on the National Assembly to swiftly approve an extra budget bill designed to help pandemic-hit small merchants, emphasising that quick support is the key.

“We cannot delay support for small merchants and self-employed people even for a moment,” Moon said during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office.

“The government will thoughtfully review reasonable plans coming out of the process of the National Assembly’s deliberation.”

The budget proposal of 14 trillion won ($11.6 billion) was submitted to the National Assembly last month, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Moon delivered the same message last week, saying, “Speed is vital” for the extra budget.

The President’s remarks came amid a tug-of-war between Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and political parties that demand bigger spending from the government.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) proposed a 35 trillion won extra budget and the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) called for a 50 trillion won supplementary budget.

Hong has been opposing the expansion of the extra budget, considering its impact on consumer prices and the state bond market.

Meanwhile, Moon also called on the authorities to fairly manage the March 9 presidential election and focus on overcoming the Covid-19 crisis that is currently driven by the Omicron variant.

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