South Korea parliament belatedly ratifies 2014 government budget
SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean lawmakers ratified early on Wednesday the government's 2014 spending bill of 355.8 trillion won (S$426.96 billion), narrowly avoiding a budget crisis and the risk of undercutting the economy's nascent recovery.
Ratification of the spending bill, representing a 2 per cent increase from 2013 and a slightly reduced version of the government's 357.7 trillion won proposal, was delayed until New Year's Day for the second consecutive year as the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic Party were locked in a bitter conflict over issues such as the reformation of the country's national intelligence agency.
Prolonged gridlock in parliament left the budget bill languishing for weeks and forced lawmakers to rush through the review process, something that has become a yearly ritual of race against time.
Ongoing squabbles delayed the ratification well beyond the parliament's self-imposed deadline of Dec 30.