South Korea proposes record-high gov't budget for 2021

South Korea on Tuesday proposed a record-high government budget for 2021 to bolster economic recovery amid uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposal for the 2021 fiscal budget was set at 555.8 trillion won (469.7 billion U.S. dollars), 8.5 percent higher than this year's budget, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The record-high budget was unveiled to help reinvigorate the lackluster economy, caused by the COVID-19 outbreak across the world.

In late August, the country's central bank expected real gross domestic product (GDP) to contract 1.3 percent this year. It was down from the estimate of a 0.2-percent fall announced in May.

The growth rate of the 2021 fiscal budget was lower than hikes of 9.5 percent in 2019 and 9.1 percent in 2020 each.

Because of the record-high budget, the ratio of national debt to GDP was estimated to rise to 46.7 percent in 2021 from this year's 43.5 percent.

The government will submit the 2021 budget proposal to the National Assembly Thursday for approval.

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