The South Korean government has drawn up an extra budget plan of around 15 trillion won to lend a helping hand to some six-point-nine million people who have suffered from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget plan that will finance the government's fourth round of COVID-19 relief payouts, which will total 19-point-five trillion won including the previously approved budget, was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
The types of three-point-85 million small businesses that can receive the financial aid starting in late March will be expanded, with businesses affected by social distancing eligible for three to five million won depending on the level of operation restrictions.
Businesses with annual sales of up to one billion won that have not been affected by distancing, but still saw their sales decline, will get a maximum of two million won.
While the businesses are expected to receive up to two million won more compared to the previous round, only those that suffered losses in 2020 from a year earlier will be eligible this time.
Some 800-thousand households that are struggling to make ends meet due to income cuts, including 40-thousand street vendors, will receive 500-thousand won in state support.
Ten-thousand university students whose parents have lost jobs will get two-point-five million won in scholarships over a duration of five months.
The government plans to submit the budget to the National Assembly on Thursday, and if the bill receives parliamentary approval in mid-March, the payments are expected to start on March 29.