South Korea plans to spend 23.3 trillion won ($21.3 billion) next year to provide more public residential houses and renovate existing homes and infrastructure facilities, the transport ministry said Wednesday.
The figure represents 58 percent of the 40.4 trillion won allocated to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The 2018 expenditure for public homes and renovation projects jumped 10 percent from 21.2 trillion won a year earlier, the ministry said.
The government said it will spend some of the budget to finance carmakers in installing advanced safety features, such as a lane departure warning system, onto buses and trucks. The large commercial vehicles are often involved in massive car crashes due mainly to sleep deprivation in the drivers.
It also plans to finance a portion of the budget to help shore up existing infrastructure, such as roads and railways, in case of an earthquake, the statement said.
In contrast, the budget for new social overhead capital projects and other development programs fell 15 percent to 17.1 trillion won next year from this year's 20.1 trillion won, the ministry said.
"As there are no new major SOC projects planned next year, it resulted in a decline in the budget for SOC and other projects," a ministry spokesman said.
In total, the 2018 budget given to the transport ministry fell 2.2 percent from the 41.3 trillion won earmarked for this year, the statement said.
Early Wednesday, the National Assembly approved the government's 428.8 trillion-won budget for next year. The budget focuses on creating thousands of new government jobs, expanding welfare programs and increasing the minimum wage.
To fund the increased spending, it calls for raising the corporate and income tax rates for big businesses and top earners. (Yonhap)