• Kyodo News


The administration’s task force on cutting wasteful spending plans to basically remove from the budget all special accounts deemed unnecessary, government sources said Tuesday.

The plan for reforming the special accounts was reported by government revitalization minister Yukio Edano to a meeting of the task force — the Government Revitalization Unit — for approval, the sources said.

The plan calls for the government to “conduct a zero-base review and cut everything except necessary special accounts,” while urging ministries to scrutinize projects and the necessary level of reserves under special accounts they oversee when they start to make budgetary requests for fiscal 2011.

The government revitalization minister, national policy minister and finance minister will work in unison to study the contents of the overhaul and reflect them in the fiscal 2011 draft budget, the sources said.

“Previous reviews of special accounts have been insufficient, falling far short of dispelling the public’s distrust,” the plan states.

Special accounts supervised by ministries and agencies are separated from general accounts so the government can implement projects in such fields as public works, pensions and food control.

Special accounts in the fiscal 2010 budget totaled about ¥176.38 trillion, far surpassing the ¥92.30 trillion in the general account budget.

Under the reform plan, the government will examine among other things whether allocations by both special accounts and the general budget are necessary.

The administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan is expected to face revenue shortages of about ¥10 trillion in fiscal 2011 as the DPJ tries to follow through on its campaign promises.

It remains unclear how much money from new sources the government can secure by the reform.

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