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Finance Minister vows to raise accuracy in tax revenue

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting with reporters at Government Complex Sejong, Monday. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks during a meeting with reporters at Government Complex Sejong, Monday. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
SEJONG -- Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki has expressed his commitment to raising accuracy and transparency in generating figures on tax revenue, reiterating his apology for the government’s excess revenue beyond its earlier estimate.

In his meeting with reporters on Monday, Hong said the Finance Ministry would “focus on raising transparency (in operation and forecast of tax revenue) as well as revising the calculating system.”

If the coming calculation for this year goes beyond the error boundary again, the ministry could choose to form a task force to revamp the overall system, he said.

But he dismissed the rumors that the ministry might disband the division for tax revenue at the Finance Ministry at the current stage for a full-fledged overhaul.

The ministry could be able to easily foster the supplementary budget worth 14 trillion won ($11.7 billion), most of which will be used to support microbusiness owners and the self-employed hit by the pandemic.

“After passage at the Cabinet meeting this week, the bill on the supplementary budget will likely be proposed to the National Assembly next Monday,” he said.

Concerning economic growth, Hong said the ministry “is cautiously expecting that the 2021 GDP growth is estimated to have reached 4 percent (like the ministry’s prediction in December),” adding that it was waiting for the fourth-quarter GDP figures to be released from the Bank of Korea on Jan. 25.

Saying that the ministry still maintains the 2022 growth target of 3.1 percent, he said the ministry “is putting focus on the revised outlook on the global economy from the International Monetary Fund.”

The IMF’s outlook would include its forecast on the Korean economy, said the minister.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)

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