S. Korea brings in 282.4 tln won in revenue last year

South Korea brought in 282.4 trillion won (US$ 246.9 billion) through taxes and other earnings in 2012, which is slightly smaller than the government's earlier target, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

According to a settlement of accounts for last year's budget compiled by the ministry, South Korea's tax revenue and other earnings were smaller than the 282.7 trillion won it projected in its 2012 budget. The revenue still represents an 11.9 trillion won rise from what was raised in the previous year, the ministry said.

The government spent a total of 274.8 trillion won in 2012, with 95.4 percent of its planned spending completed. The amount is up 15.8 trillion won from a year earlier, the report showed.

The country's "consolidated" fiscal surplus came to 18.5 trillion won thanks to increased earnings from the operation of social security funds, the report showed.

However, the fiscal account, excluding such social security funds, posted 17.4 trillion won in deficit, the report noted. The shortfall is attributed to less-than-expected tax revenues and front-loading the government budget aimed at helping the slowing economy.

The debts owed by the central government came to 425.1 trillion won in 2012, up 22.3 trillion won from a year earlier, the report showed. The amount is 33.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product. The amount rises to 443.8 trillion won if regional government debt is included.

Meanwhile, the combined amount of the government's tax surplus and unused budget last year stood at 853.3 billion won in 2012. Of the total, 339 billion won will be used to pay for government debt, while 325.7 billion won will be set aside for an extra budget for this year that is currently under consideration, the ministry said.