Senior officials of the government and the ruling coalition on Tuesday agreed on the need to draw up a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year.
The size of the budget remained undecided, however, with the fourth meeting of the Government-Ruling Parties Budget Conference merely producing a decision to hold another session Sept. 20 to discuss the general shape of the budget.
Participants in Tuesday’s meeting shared the view that fiscal measures are needed to ensure economic recovery, since private demand, as reflected by April-June gross domestic product figures, has yet to show sustainable growth, a government official said.
Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said that the expected supplementary budget should be targeted at achieving a rebirth of the economy and also that it should be funded by tax revenue as much as possible, although he did not rule out additional issuance of government bonds, the official said.
The government’s most recent budgets have leaned dangerously on bond issues.
Meanwhile, Shizuka Kamei, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, emphasized the need for stimulus measures, citing financial institutions’ reluctance to provide loans to small and midsize companies and regional governments’ need for public works projects, the official said.
Other participants in the meeting included Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Economic Planning Agency chief Taichi Sakaiya, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa, LDP Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka, New Conservative Party Secretary General Takeshi Noda and New Komeito Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba.
84.83 trillion yen, please
General-account requests from government ministries and agencies for the fiscal 2001 budget total 84.83 trillion yen, down 0.2 percent from the initial budget for fiscal 2000, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.
Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa submitted a report on the requests at a Cabinet meeting in the morning. The ministry stopped accepting spending requests at the end of August.
The budget for the year beginning next April 1 will total more than 80 trillion yen for the third consecutive year. The ministry is expected to draft the budget by late December.
Requests for policy-related expenditures amount to about 48.4 trillion yen, up 2.1 percent from the initial budget for the current fiscal year and showing growth for the third consecutive year.
The higher budgets are a result of government efforts to get the economy back on track but are worsening the nation’s financial deficits.
A major feature of the fiscal 2001 budget is the creation of two special budgets — one worth 700 billion yen and the other worth 300 billion yen.
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