President Moon Jae-in has stepped up calls for the National Assembly to swiftly approve an extra budget bill worth 14 trillion won that was submitted last month.
Moon cited "desperate" hardships facing small merchants hit by prolonged COVID-19 restrictions, presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee told reporters Friday.
Moon urged for action amid a tug-of-war between Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and political parties that have been demanding bigger spending from the government.
The ruling Democratic Party proposed a 35 trillion-won supplementary budget and the main opposition People Power Party called for 50 trillion-won in extra spending.
Hong has been opposing a sharp expansion of the extra budget, considering its impact on consumer prices and the state bond market.