Spending requests from government ministries and agencies for fiscal 2004 will total 86.46 trillion yen, up 4.67 trillion yen from the initial budget for the current fiscal year, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The amount, revealed a day ahead of the formal deadline for requests, indicates the government’s uphill battle in achieving its goal of paring the general account to around 81.79 trillion yen, its size for the current fiscal year.

Ministry officials said requests for general expenditures, which finance government projects such as public works and foreign aid spending, will come to 48.12 trillion yen, up 530 billion yen from the initial budget for fiscal 2003.

Requests for debt-servicing costs are expected to be 18.43 trillion yen, up 1.63 trillion yen from the current year, and subsidies to local governments are forecast to rise 2.09 trillion yen to 19.49 trillion yen. These costs and subsidies are the other two pillars of the general account.

After the requests are submitted, the Finance Ministry will continue with the budget-compiling process until late December, when a draft budget is presented to the Cabinet. The budget is usually submitted to the Diet in January before being adopted in spring.

FSA wants more cash

The Financial Services Agency will seek a 17.4 percent increase in its budget for next year, seeking to resolve the bad-loan problem weighing down the nation’s financial system by March 2005, FSA officials said Thursday.

The FSA is requesting 18.32 billion yen, up from its 15.6 billion yen initial budget request for fiscal 2003, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the FSA plans to boost the level of funds in a Deposit Insurance Corp. account that can be tapped by the government in the event of emergency bailouts, such as that involving Resona Bank.

It wants to boost the account by 2 trillion yen to 17 trillion yen.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.