S. Korean parliament resumes review of bills, gov’t budget proposal

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties on Thursday resumed their review of key bills and the government's 2019 budget proposal one day after they agreed to put parliament back on track following a weeklong hiatus.

The National Assembly has around 90 bills to review for their passage during the ongoing regular session. The government's record 470.5 trillion-won (US$416.5 billion) budget proposal is also pending, with a legal deadline for the review scheduled for Dec. 2.

Later in the day, the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and two conservative parties will hold their working-level meeting on legislation as they seek to implement an agreement reached at a recent inaugural meeting of a joint consultative body involving the rival parties and the government.

They plan to discuss economic bills including cuts in credit card commissions for small shop owners.

sOn Nov. 5, President Moon Jae-in and the floor leaders from five political parties agreed to cooperate in efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and boost the slowing economy.

The move is aimed at promoting what Moon called joint governance.

A working-level meeting for the consultative body was originally scheduled for Nov. 12.

But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) and the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party rejected a proposed gathering and boycotted last week's parliamentary plenary session as Moon pushed ahead with appointing the environment minister without the National Assembly's consent.

Meanwhile, the 16-member sub-panel on the budget opened its meeting earlier in the day to discuss ways to cut the budget proposal.

The government is pushing for expansionary fiscal spending next year to prop up the slowing economy and buttress President Moon's peace initiative with North Korea.

The proposal includes a record 23.5 trillion won in funds for job creation and increased expenditures on social welfare and inter-Korean projects.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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