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South Korea drafts $46bn budget to help COVID-hit businesses

President Yoon Suk-yeol’s administration will pay more than $20bn to small businesses and the self-employed.

South Korea unveiled plans on Thursday to pay more than $20bn to small businesses and self-employed people to make up for losses due to COVID restrictions.

The first supplementary budget since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office this week is scaled at 59.4 trillion won ($46bn), but 23 trillion won ($18bn) will be paid to provincial governments, the finance ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement it would not issue any bonds to fund the budget as this year’s tax revenue projection is revised up by a sharp 53.3 trillion won ($41bn) and another 7 trillion won ($5.4bn) worth of existing spending plans would be changed.

It said 26.3 trillion won ($20.4bn) would be paid to some 3.7 million smaller businesses and self-employed people hit by various COVID-related curbs, and another 6.1 trillion won ($4.7bn) would

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