Park-supplementary budget

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye ordered the government Wednesday to submit a supplementary budget to parliament as soon as possible to help bring vitality back to the slumping economy.

"Timing is especially important in economic policy," Park said during a finance ministry briefing. "We have to formulate a supplementary budget in order not to miss the right timing with a focus on creating jobs and stabilizing the livelihoods of ordinary people."

Park also instructed the government to step up legislation efforts for a recently announced package of real estate market stimulus measures and come up with plans to boost exports and investment.

Government officials have said South Korea's economy, Asia's fourth-largest, is in a worse situation than expected, with its gross domestic product growing less than 1 percent on-quarter for the seventh straight quarter, and exports, investment and consumption all remaining weak.

Last week, the government sharply lowered its economic growth outlook for this year to 2.3 percent from the previous 3 percent forecast due to toughened market conditions at home and abroad.

In efforts to tackle the situation, the government has said it will formulate an extra budget while front-loading more than 60 percent of its existing fiscal spending plans during the first half.

During Wednesday's policy briefing, Park also talked about other issues, such as efforts to share South Korea's economic development experiences and know-how with developing nations and to bring more of the underground economy into the tax net.

Park called for strengthening the country's "Knowledge Sharing Program" aimed at helping less well-off nations develop their economies, saying South Korea should repay what the international community gave the country over the course of its industrialization.

She also instructed officials to redouble efforts to end the practice of financial institutions demanding borrowers have a third party jointly guarantee their debt repayment, and make sure to implement a debt restructuring fund for ordinary people as planned.

Park also reiterated the importance of fair taxation.

"Unless tax justice is firmly established, it could go beyond simple complaints about the tax system or tax policy and lead ultimately to distrust in state administration and society," Park said.

"Bringing the underground economy above ground is a task that we have to pursue consistently not only just to raise financial resources but also in the context of promoting social unity through promoting fairness in taxation," she said.

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