Friday, April 22, 2011

Kyodo news: ¥4 trillion recovery budget gets OK'd

 The Cabinet adopted a ¥4.02 trillion draft extra budget Friday for the current fiscal year, managing to secure funds for the early phase of reconstruction work in areas devastated by the March 11 mega-quake and tsunami.

 To deal with the country's worst postwar crisis, the first supplementary budget for the year that began April 1 is already bigger than the three special budgets drawn up after the 1995 Kobe quake, which totaled ¥3.23 trillion.
 But the government is not planning to issue any debt to cover the budget, instead diverting funds from the initial fiscal 2011 budget.
 "We would like to tackle restoration work while the Cabinet is so united under the belief that this is a new start," Prime Minister Naoto Kan told his Cabinet ministers.
 Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda stressed the government has maintained fiscal discipline, telling reporters, "We will not issue any new government bonds."
 The government is expected to submit the draft budget to the Diet next Thursday, and aims to have it enacted May 2, according to officials.
 The budget aims to cover the costs of work in the devastated Tohoku region, including clearing rubble and building temporary housing for survivors of the catastrophe.
 The biggest portion of the budget, about ¥1.20 trillion, would finance public-works projects, including the repair of roads, ports and farmland. About ¥362.6 billion is earmarked for temporary home building, while ¥351.9 billion would be spent on clearing rubble left by the magnitude 9.0 temblor and tsunami.



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