Yongmun traditional market in Yongsan, Seoul, on Aug. 31. [Photo by Yonhap]
The South Korean government plans to inject 67 billion won ($50 million) to provide individuals with vouchers that can be spent during the 6-day Chuseok holiday that stretches to National Foundation Day on October 3.
Under the plans unveiled in a meeting presided over by President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday, 600,000 accommodation vouchers will be distributed across the country. The move comes in response to sluggish domestic consumption in the second half of this year, prompting the government to take active measures to stimulate spending.
The government will also subsidize groceries necessary for the celebration of Chuseok, such as apples, chicken, and mackerel, by 20 to 30 percent until September 28. Markets and cooperatives from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation will support the subsidies with their own vouchers, resulting in 40 to 60 percent discounts on major food products.
For the top 20 most sought-after items, the government plans to impose a targeted price decrease of an average of 5 percent from last year’s Chuseok rates.
The initiative will involve 2,175 large and medium-sized grocery markets, including Nonghyup Hanaro Mart, as well as 24 online malls and 741 traditional markets.
“We are committed to enhancing air travel services and streamlining immigration processes to attract foreign tourists, which helps bolster the domestic economy,” Yoon said.
When it comes to concerns related to the discharge of contaminated water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, the government will take swift and decisive actions to provide support to the seafood industry, according to Yoon.
“We will actively counter groundless rumors while setting aside an additional 80 billion won in preliminary budget to encourage seafood consumption this year,” Yoon said.
By Kim Jung-hwan, Park In-hye, and Han Yubin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]