South Korea`s finance minister Hong Nam-ki speaks in a meeting on Jan. 4, 2019. [Photo provided by Ministry of Economy and Finance]
The South Korean government will is ready to pump in 177 trillion won ($157.4 billion) in the first half of this year to rev up the lethargic economy. It already vowed to jump-start the economy by allocating 61 percent out of this year’s record budget in the first six months.
Hong Nam-ki, the deputy prime minister for the economy, during economy-related cabinet meeting on Friday endorsed spending of 177 trillion won or 61 percent of the central government budget during the first half of this year. For the areas closely linked to the livelihood of the public such as jobs and social overhead capital (SOC), the central government will spend up to 65 percent of its budget in the first half.
He also promised to complete allocating extra budget for local government entities within the first quarter.
The government has already pledged to earmark 61 percent of its record-sized 2019 budget of 469.6 trillion won in the first half in hopes to beat its economic growth outlook of 2.6-2.7 percent for this year. The government spent 58.2 percent of its budget on average in the first half over the past five years when the economic growth hovered around 3 percent.
The budget in country’s major public companies increased 9.5 trillion won to 53 trillion won from last year. Hong said the central government will actively support them to make the necessary investment speedily. He promised to check on the progress on the budget execution on regular basis.
The government will also up procurement orders usually worth 123 trillion won or 7.1 percent of gross domestic product to promote industries.
By Sohn Il-seon and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]