SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea plans to propose another extra budget of 14 trillion won (US$11.8 billion) in a bid to support small merchants as they are suffering COVID-19 caused losses amid extended tighter virus curbs, the country’s finance minister said Friday.
The country plans to create the extra budget by tapping last year’s excess tax revenue of 10 trillion won, according to Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.
The government also plans to additionally provide 3 million won to merchants who have suffered falls in revenue. It will raise the budget set aside for the state compensation scheme for pandemic-hit merchants to 5.1 trillion won from the current 3.2 trillion won.
Many small merchants have been suffering business losses as the government has extended tighter antivirus measures to curb the latest spike in COVID-19 cases.
South Korea drew up two supplementary budgets totaling some 50 trillion won last year to provide tailored support to small merchants and cash handouts to people in the bottom 88 percent income bracket.