Finance minister urges parliament to pass 2017 budget bill by legal deadline

Lawmakers at the National Assembly should
begin reviewing the budget bill for 2017 next week. But with rival parties at odds after clashes
during the parliamentary audit over a number of issues, Korea’s finance minister fear,…
things may not get done in time. Shin Se-min sheds light on the finance chief’s
concern. Korea’s Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho highlighted
the importance of approving the nation’s budget bill in a timely manner. “I ask that the National Assembly pass the
2017 budget bill on time so the budget, which is aimed at boosting the economy and creating
jobs, may be executed from the beginning of the year without any disruptions.” While figuratively describing the government’s
financial affairs as a heart,… that’s been beating to help revitalize the economy,…
Yoo expressed the importance of managing government finances,… calling on the parliament to
review the bill by the legal deadline of December 2nd. He added that despite looming uncertainties
at home and abroad… like the ongoing corporate restructuring drive, unionized strikes, and
the unknown effects of an anti-corruption law on consumption,… the country should
work to bolster the economy through additional spending in the fourth quarter. The finance minister also explained the government’s
plan to submit a bill on fiscal soundness by the end of the month. The bill is aimed at preventing the build-up
of exorbitant budgets by requiring the central and local governments, as well as public institutions
to devise plans for more efficient spending, and put them in motion. It will also include receiving final assessment
on the execution of those plans. Although the country’s fiscal health is in
relatively good condition, when compared with other OECD member nations,… Yoo said Korea
should further solidify its fiscal soundness so that it can maintain flexibility in the
face of changing financial demands in the future. As of last year, Korea’s government debt-to-GDP
ratio stood at 37-point-9 percent,… significantly lower than the OECD average of around 115%
percent. “On the prospects for economic growth, the
finance minister showed confidence,… saying that despite the mayhem of the Samsung Galaxy
Note 7 crisis and the protracted automaker strike,… the events of the fourth quarter
will not cause enough damage to drive growth down into negative territory. Shin Se-min, Arirang News.”

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