The ruling bloc’s top policymaker urged the government Wednesday to complete unfinished public works projects by drafting and using an extra budget for fiscal 2002.
“It will be economically effective to complete road constructions that have already been 70 percent or 80 percent done and put them into use as soon as possible,” said Taro Aso, chief of the Policy Research Council of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Liberal Democratic Party.
Such roads will be built sooner or later, and thus, “It will be best (for the government) to work on them now” because land prices and interest rates are low, Aso said.
He said the Koizumi administration should submit a bill for the supplementary budget for the current fiscal year through March during the next Diet session, which convenes in January.
Regarding calls for quicker work on the bill, Aso said time constraints would make it difficult for the government to submit and debate such legislation in the current Diet session, which ends Dec. 13.
Aso did not elaborate on the size of the extra budget, but reiterated Koizumi does not have to stick to a 30 trillion yen cap on the yearly issuance of government bonds.
He said it is true the prime minister’s pledge to maintain the 30 trillion yen cap “played an effective role” in curbing Japan’s chronic budgetary deficits, but “if the prime minister sticks to (the limit), I am concerned some other (measures) could collapse.”
The economic situation has changed continuously since Koizumi took office in April 2001, he added.
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