South Korea's government ministries and state agencies have requested a 6.2 percent hike in their budgets for next year as they want to spend more on welfare, research and development, and defense, the finance ministry said Friday.
Ministries and state agencies have asked the government to set aside a combined 498.7 trillion won ($422 billion) for the budget for next year, up 29.1 trillion won from this year's 469.6 trillion won, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The government requested a 12.9 percent on-year hike to 181.7 trillion won in the health and welfare budget to expand the social safety net. The budget for education is up 2.3 percent to 72.3 trillion won.
The request for defense spending represents a solid 8 percent increase to 50.4 trillion won, with research and development moving up 9.1 percent to 22.4 trillion won to nurture such sectors as the hydrogen economy, artificial intelligence, fifth-generation network services and bio-health.
South Korea has been seeking to boost the hydrogen economy and other innovative sectors as new growth engines amid slowing exports and investment.
Meanwhile, the budget request for social overhead capital dropped 8.6 percent to 18.1 trillion won, with that to be used in the agricultural and fishery sector being cut by 4 percent.
The finance ministry said it will finalize the government's budget proposal and submit it the National Assembly by Sept. 3 for approval. (Yonhap)