By Kim Eun-young and Yoon Hee Young
The government's fourth round of emergency relief payments worth KRW 19.5 trillion will be distributed to small business owners and the self-employed having difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Moon Jae-in on March 2 told a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, "The amount (of the stimulus payments) has come from a supplementary budget of KRW 15 trillion in addition to KRW 4.5 trillion earmarked in the budget for the current fiscal year."
"The supplementary budget proposal will be submitted to the National Assembly in early March for the second consecutive year," he said. "This is because the COVID-19 crisis affecting people's livelihoods and employment is more serious than ever and because resolving this is becoming the most urgent task for the government and the National Assembly."
The president added, "It also clearly shows the government's determination to overcome the crisis through action."
On the fourth round of stimulus payments, he said, "We have worked especially hard to provide a significant amount of funds to broadly support those hit hard and minimize blind spots," adding, "The funds to buttress microbusiness owners have been greatly expanded to KRW 6.7 trillion, greatly expanding the number of eligible people to 3.85 million. In addition, payments have been raised to a maximum of KRW 5 million per person."
The chief executive also urged the National Assembly to expedite deliberations and pass the bill so that the stimulus payments will be distributed to those in need as soon as possible.
The supplementary budget bill approved by the Cabinet will be submitted for parliamentary approval on March 4.