Miyazawa kills advance of works projects

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa reiterated his opposition Tuesday to the idea of moving forward orders for public works projects in fiscal 2000 to give yet another push to the economy.

He told reporters he is not considering advancing public works orders as a policy option, implying the government’s plan to implement the budget for the current business year at a natural pace will remain unchanged.

Advancing public works orders in the first half of the fiscal year has been used to kick-start the economy. Recently, that approach was taken in fiscal 1998 and 1999.

The strategy has often made it necessary for the government to write one or more auxiliary budgets in the latter half of the year to keep the economy afloat with additional public works spending.

With the Lower House election expected in late June, some Liberal Democratic Party politicians are seeking additional economic stimulus measures, including advancing public works orders.