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PM Lee Calls for Swift Passage of Extra Budget to Ride out Downturn

Write: 2019-06-24 18:17:30Update: 2019-06-24 18:22:22

PM Lee Calls for Swift Passage of Extra Budget to Ride out Downturn

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon has urged parliament to pass the government's six-point seven trillion won supplementary spending bill, citing hostile external economic conditions. He warned the export-driven Korean economy will suffer more if the extra budget is not injected on time to ride out the downturn.
Kim Bum-soo has more. 

Report: Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon has urged lawmakers to swiftly pass the government's extra budget plan.

Lee on Monday delivered a speech at the National Assembly, arguing that external economic conditions call for a fiscal response.

[Sound bite: Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (Korean)]
"The drastic slowdown of the global economy has brought much more of an impact to our economy, which has high external dependency. Exports have fallen for the sixth consecutive month, and corporate investment is also sluggish, leading to a very low first quarter growth."

He stressed that four-point-five trillion won worth of the six-point-seven trillion won, or almost five-point-eight billion U.S. dollar budget, will be spent to rejuvenate the struggling livelihood of the working class.

[Sound bite: Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (Korean)]
"We must stop the vicious cycle and revive the economy. That's why we decided to put the extra budget in place. International organizations, including the IMF, advised us to expand fiscal expenditure and inject an extra budget."

The speech came as rival parties are struggling to normalize parliamentary operations, which have been paralyzed due to disputes over the fast-tracking of a few reform bills, including the revision to the election regulations. 

Earlier on Monday, floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor Bareunmirae Party agreed to normalize proceedings to pass the extra budget proposal. 

The deal, however, was rejected at a plenary meeting of main opposition Liberty Korea Party lawmakers. 

The extra budget proposal, which was submitted on April 25th, has not been reviewed due to political wrangling among parties.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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