The government plans to draw up an extra budget in April to cope with fine dust and prop up the slowing economy in a pre-emptive manner, officials said on April 2.
The decision was made at a meeting among senior officials from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the government and the ruling Democratic Party to discuss ways to tackle an economic downturn and other issues.
“The International Monetary Fund has proposed that South Korea draw up a supplementary budget, citing downside factors. We will submit a proposal on an extra budget in April to the National Assembly,” Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said.
“The government should take every policy measure at its disposal pre-emptively,” he added.
The main focus of the proposed budget will be placed on ways to tackle fine dust and brace for growing downside economic risks, the officials said.
“I’ve heard the Finance Ministry is considering drawing up a supplementary budget. I hope it could focus on coping with fine dust,” DP Chairman Lee Hae-chan said.
The National Assembly passed a bill that designates fine dust as a social disaster last month as the country is struggling to reduce fine dust, a large portion of which is believed to originate from China.
The budget, if approved, could be used in increasing the use of air purifiers and expanding joint projects with China, the presidential office said in March.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (email@example.com)