The incoming South Korean government of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to announce an extra budget proposal estimated at some 34-36 trillion won ($26.8-28 billion) later this week in its efforts to support merchants hit hard by the Covid pandemic, officials said on Sunday.
The Finance Ministry plans to unveil details about this year’s second extra budget this week after Yoon takes office Tuesday, Yonhap News Agency quoted government officials as saying.
The now-dissolved transition team earlier said the new government aims to spend 33.1 trillion won or more to fully compensate the losses of micro business owners.
During the election campaign, Yoon promised to spend around 50 trillion won for the compensation program.
The team calculated the amount of planned support after extracting the 16.9 trillion-won extra budget created in February from Yoon’s proposal.
It also estimated the self-employed saw their operating profits fall a combined 54 trillion won between 2020 and 2021 due to the government’s tight antivirus curbs.
Since 2020, the outgoing Moon Jae-in government has drawn up seven rounds of supplementary budgets totaling some 134 trillion won to cope with the fallout of the pandemic.
It has provided a combined 35.1 trillion won to pandemic-hit merchants, far below their estimated business losses.
South Korea’s national debt is expected to reach 1,075.7 trillion won this year, marking the first time the debt would exceed the 1,000 trillion-won mark, according to the government’s estimate.