The Cabinet on March 26 approved guidelines for next year’s budget that focus on, among other things, measures to revitalize the economy and bolster the social safety net.
The government plans to set aside budgetary funds for such fields as big data, artificial intelligence, the hydrogen economy, 5G network services, as well as the smart factory and bio-health sectors.
South Korea has been seeking to boost the hydrogen economy and other innovative sectors as new growth engines for Asia’s fourth-largest economy amid slowing exports and investment.
In January, Korea said it will increase the number of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to about 80,000 units by 2022.
The budget guidelines also called for measures to reduce fine dust air pollution and to scrap old diesel cars as well as increase demand for eco-friendly vehicles. Korea has said it plans to take all diesel cars off the road by 2030 to help curb fine dust.
The government said it plans to set up a system to comprehensively check safety of roads and other key infrastructure facilities built decades ago.
As part of efforts to boost social safety net, the government plans to provide money to low-income people -- who have not joined employment insurance -- if they participate in programs meant to help them find jobs.
Each ministry is required to submit its budget request to the Ministry of Economy and Finance by May 31. The Ministry of Economy and Finance is scheduled to present the government budget proposal to the National Assembly by Sept. 3 for approval.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)