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S. Korea to offer tax, financial support to victims of downpour

By Yonhap

Published : July 21, 2023 - 09:48

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This photo shows Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho speaks during a meeting with economy-related ministers held in Seoul on Friday. (Ministry of Economy and Finance) This photo shows Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho speaks during a meeting with economy-related ministers held in Seoul on Friday. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)

South Korea will provide all available tax and financial support to the victims of the recent downpour, the finance minister said Friday, while focusing on preventing its impact on consumer prices of agricultural goods.

The move came as the recent heavy rains in the central region damaged 34,583 hectares of farmland while killing 825,000 livestock, including 769,1000 chickens as of Thursday.

"The government will concentrate all policy efforts in terms of budget, tax and finance to support the victims and expedite restoration," Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a meeting with economy-related ministers.

The country also vowed to expand support to the agricultural sector to minimize the impact of the downpour on consumer prices.

In line with the efforts, South Korea will support reseeding of greenhouse vegetables, like lettuce, and induce regions that have not been damaged by the rain to speed up their supply.

The country will lift tariffs on 30,000 tons of chicken by the end of August and expand the quota down the road.

To normalize the supply of chicken, the government will also provide loans worth 80 billion won ($62.5 million) for the supply of chicks at local farms.

Other measures include offering discounts of around 30 percent at local supermarkets for popular agricultural goods.

The country is showing some signs of slowing inflation, but the government has been taking watchful eyes on typhoons or heat waves, as they could weigh down on the supply of agricultural goods.

South Korea's on-year consumer price growth slowed for the fifth straight month in June, falling below 3 percent for the first time in 21 months by rising 2.7 percent.

The finance ministry hinted there could be some ups and downs depending on the supply of agricultural products amid typhoons or heat waves.

Earlier this week, Choo said the on-year growth in prices is expected to remain at around 2.5 percent after September. (Yonhap)