The government paid about 80 billion won (US$74.7 million) during the first half of this year in interest on its short-term borrowings aimed at making up for revenue shortfalls and securing money to cover expenses for its operations, data showed Tuesday.
According to the data submitted by the finance ministry to Rep. Lee Hahn-koo of the ruling Saenuri Party, the government's interest payment on its short-term borrowings stood at 80.2 billion won during the January-June period.
The amount was up from 13.1 trillion won tallied during the same period a year earlier and also marked the highest amount in five years.
The short-term borrowings refer to the government's issuance of Treasury bills and borrowings from the Bank of Korea to make up for shortfalls in the budget for its operation.
For borrowings through the sale of Treasury bills and loans from the central bank, the government paid 60.6 billion won and 19.6 billion won in interest, respectively, the data showed.
The increase came as the government collected about 10 trillion won less in taxes on-year during the first half, caused by the delayed economic recovery.
The revenue shortfalls have been posing a heavy burden on the government, which is pushing to expand fiscal spending to bolster economic growth.