South Korea to allocate 72.4% of 2021 fiscal outlays in first half

FILE PHOTO: People wearing masks walk at a railway station amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea, November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea plans to spend most of its annual fiscal budget in the first half of 2021 to shore up growth hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

A total of 333.1 trillion won ($307.4 billion), or 72.4%, will be allocated to be spent in the first half, up from 71.4% in the comparable period this year.

The decision is to speed up public projects and any contracts that requires financing from the government in advance, the ministry said.

Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editng by Stephen Coates