Rep. of Korea: Supplemental budget set for typhoon victims
The extra budget, the second allocated this year, is expected to hasten the recovery in typhoon-hit areas, but put a strain on fiscal health.
During a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday (Sept. 22), President Roh Moo-hyun and his cabinet agreed on the supplemental budget.
Also, to relieve the rising prices for vegetables, the government will import onions and cayenne while increasing the volume of vegetable purchases that are raised based on contracts between the government and farmers.
To help small- and medium-size companies damaged by the typhoon, 400 billion won in loans will be provided by three state-run banks at a subsidized interest rate of 3 percent from the current 5 percent.
The government said the loans will be available to businesses through the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund, while the guarantee fee rate will be lowered to 0.5 percent from the current 1 percent. The firms in the designated special disaster areas will enjoy a reduced rate of 0.1 percent.
At the same time, the government will offer 100 billion won from its fund, of which 30 billion won will be used for management stabilization and the rest will go to restructuring.
Under the plan, small merchants at traditional markets will be able to receive 60 billion won in loans with a privileged 3 percent interest rate, compared to the current 5.9 percent.
"With the approval of President Roh Moo-hyun, 14 flooded districts have been declared special disaster areas," said Kim Joo-hyun, deputy minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs. The regions include all flooded areas except Seoul and Busan.
The designated regions will receive 50-150 percent more in the amount of state support than the usual fixed standard.
Kwon O-kyu, senior presidential secretary for policy planning, said 500 billion won from 1.1 trillion won in reserved budget will be first provided to regions already inspected with the approval of the cabinet on Tuesday.
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