Seoul draws up $897mn extra budget bill to fight Covid

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The Seoul city government has drawn up a 1.1 trillion won ($897.3 million) supplementary budget bill to bolster its fight against Covid-19 and support businesses hit by the pandemic, officials said on Thursday.

The extra budget, which comes in addition to the regular budget of a record high 44 trillion won, was urgently put together as the omicron wave continues to weigh on the livelihoods of people and drives up demand for disease prevention measures, officials said.

Of the extra budget, 424.8 billion won will be spent to support people and for business to return to normal, such as a scheme to dole out 1 million won in financial assistance to some 80,000 small businesses each, the city said.

Another 206.1 billion won will go to virus prevention measures, such as financial support for those hospitalized or under quarantine for Covid-19 infections, as well as distribution of self-test kits to the vulnerable.

The bill also includes a spending of 113 billion won on measures to bolster the safety and security of city life, including a plan to replace street lamps in areas populated by one-person households.

The city government plans to submit the budget bill to the city council later in the day for approval.

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