SKorea's parliament approves $15.3 billion extra budget bill to boost economy

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s parliament on Tuesday approved a new budget bill that paves the way for $15.3 billion of stimulus spending.

The National Assembly, where President Park Geun-hye’s ruling party has a majority, passed the 17.3 trillion won supplementary budget aimed at stimulating the housing market, supporting small and mid-sized businesses and creating jobs, it said on its website.

The finance ministry said earlier Tuesday that parliament’s budget committee passed the bill nearly unchanged from the ministry’s proposal.

The ministry proposed the extra budget last month, citing sputtering exports and feeble business investment. It lowered its forecast for South Korea’s annual growth to 2.3 per cent from 3.0 per cent.

The extra budget includes funds to aid South Korean companies shut out of the jointly-run industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong.