The Seoul Metropolitan Government proposed a separate first-half supplementary budget of 2.9 trillion won ($2.4 billion) for the first time in a decade to fight worsening fine dust pollution and improve welfare benefits for citizens.
The city government said Thursday it submitted a $2.9 trillion won supplementary budget, which is tantamount to 8.0 percent of its 35.8 trillion won budget approved for this year, to the city council. It is the first time in a decade for the capital city to seek a separate supplementary budget in the first half of a year.
It plans to utilize the extra budget on five key areas – improving air quality (277.5 billion won), expanding welfare services (381.3 billion won), revitalizing local economy (67 billion won), making the city safer (101.3 billion won), and upgrading infrastructures (105.7 billion won).
The city government said it will install additional fine dust monitoring systems at all subway stations in the city and fine dust filters at the platforms and also inside the subway cars. It will expand its subsidy program for scrapping an aged diesel vehicle and installing devices for reducing emissions. Also, it will up monetary supports on purchasing electric cars and replacing residential heating and cooling system with eco-friendly models. The park areas along the major expressways across Seoul and the Han River will have more trees planted.
To improve welfare benefits, the city government plans to open additional help centers and increase funds for emergency support programs, medical aids, and activity programs for physically-challenged citizens.
By Na Hyun-joon and Cho Jeehyun
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