Seoul, Dec 3: The South Korean National Assembly on Thursday passed the government’s 2016 budget bill during a plenary session. The bill called for increasing the budget by 2.9 percent to 386.4 trillion won ($332 billion) next year from 375.4 trillion won this year, the Korea Herald reported.
It fell 300 billion won short of the amount requested by the government in September. The Constitution obliges the parliament to pass its annual budget bill by December 2 to allow 30 days of preparation for the bill’s implementation.
For more than a decade before 2014, parliament had always failed to meet the deadline for endorsing a budget bill for the new year.
In 2013, the National Assembly passed the government’s 2013 budget bill after the beginning of the fiscal year. Parliament again approved 2014’s budget bill on January 1, narrowly avoiding the risk of the government formulating a tentative budget for the first time in history.
As public criticism mounted, the Assembly revised relevant parliamentary laws in 2014 to have the budget bill automatically referred to a plenary session if the parties fail to complete deliberation of the budget by November 30. (IANS)