South Korea plans to hand out discount coupons worth 18.2 billion won (US$12.7 million) for foodstuffs by the end of this year to help people cope with inflation, the finance ministry said Tuesday.
Under the plan, South Korea will release 12 billion won worth of coupons for agricultural and livestock products, along with 6.2 billion won for fishery items, offering people discounts of around 20 to 30 percent, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The country will also release another 156.3 billion won worth of energy vouchers by April 2023, the ministry added.
The latest moves come as South Korea has been struggling to cope with inflation, with the country’s consumer prices rising 5.6 percent on-year in September, expanding more than 2 percent for the 18th straight month.
Last month, prices of agricultural, livestock, and fisheries goods went up 6.2 percent on-year. Vegetable prices especially jumped 22.1 percent in September, with those of napa cabbage and white radish soaring 95 percent and 91 percent, respectively.
“We are recently facing a comprehensive economic crisis in which concerns over slowing economy linger amid high prices,” Second Vice Finance Minister Choi Sang-dae said in a release.
“Uncertainties in the financial market and the real economy remain high due to deteriorating external conditions, including the accelerating rate hike by major countries and the protracted war between Russia and Ukraine,” Choi said, pointing out the government will spare no efforts to ease people’s burden.