A House of Councilors committee approved by a majority vote Tuesday a package of bills designed to revamp the government’s fiscal investment and loan program into a leaner, market-oriented system.
The package, approved by the Committee on Financial Affairs, is expected to be enacted after being approved by the Upper House at a plenary session today.
The “zaito” program, long dubbed Japan’s second budget because of its huge size, is now mainly financed by funds from the state-run postal savings and public pension programs.
The legislation will abolish the mandatory entrustment of such funds to the Finance Ministry’s Trust Fund Bureau.
It will also pave the way for public corporations that are now financed by the zaito program to raise funds by issuing their own bonds without government guarantees.
However, for corporations that are unable to do so by themselves and whose projects are significant enough, the government will finance them from funds it raises through issuing government bonds.
The legislation would also eliminate zaito funding from projects that can be developed by the private sector.