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Ruling camp to push for speedy 3rd extra budget review

Kim Tae-nyeon (Yonhap)
Kim Tae-nyeon (Yonhap)

The ruling Democratic Party is calling for swift review of the third extra budget bill to tackle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic Party leader Kim Tae-nyeon said on Thursday the newly elected parliament must begin reviewing the third supplementary budget bill as soon as it completes organizing its leadership and standing committees.

“The 21st National Assembly must open on time and begin discussing ways to tide over the economic crisis such as the third extra budget bill. … No time or energy should be wasted on negotiations for organizing (the leadership and committees),” Kim said in a policy coordination meeting.

“Speed and timing are crucial in overcoming the crises. … We will name our administrator for the (special) committee on budget and accounts today.”

The main opposition United Future Party floor leader Joo Ho-young told reporters on Thursday that his party can discuss the third extra budget once they know why it is necessary, what it will be spent on, and how it will be financed.

The third extra budget bill is expected to be around 30 trillion won ($24.4 billion) in size, and focus on tackling unemployment and revitalizing the real economy.

The number of employed people in Korea stood at 26.56 million last month, 476,000 fewer compared to a year ago, marking the sharpest on-year drop since February 1999 as the coronavirus pandemic battered job markets.

As the government plans to submit the supplementary budget bill in early June, the ruling party and the government must reach a consensus through sufficient consultations before that, according to an official of the Democratic Party’s policy committee.

Since it will be difficult for rival parties to wrap up negotiations on organizing the parliamentary leadership and standing committees before the 21st National Assembly opens on May 30,

Kim also said the Korean “New Deal” begins from establishing data infrastructure, adding that the bill to promote data-based administration must be passed during the 20th National Assembly.

Kim said the Democratic Party will push for a Green New Deal bill, which aims to address climate change and the economic crisis at the same time, as soon as the newly elected parliament opens.

“We will build sustainable growth engines by creating green jobs,” he said.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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