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Japanese Gov't Eyes over 1 Tril. Yen for Growth Stimulus in FY 2011 Budget
Source: breitbart.com
Source Date: Sunday, July 25, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Japan
Created: Aug 01, 2010

The government is considering securing over 1 trillion yen for special growth stimulus measures in its budget for fiscal 2011, Cabinet members said Monday.

The government is also planning to widely canvass public opinion on what policies should be pursued under the stimulus spending, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said at a press conference.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan proposed last week allocating at least 2 trillion yen for fresh growth steps within the government's spending cap of 71 trillion yen for the year through March 2012.

"We described the amount as exceeding 1 trillion yen," Koichiro Gemba, state minister in charge of public services, told reporters at the prime minister's office after joining a meeting to discuss guidelines for budget compilation, which the Cabinet is expected to approve as early as Tuesday.

The phrasing reflects the government's efforts to strike a balance between the DPJ's proposal and the position of the Finance Ministry, which did not want to clarify a figure for the fresh stimulus.

With the proposed special allocation, the DPJ is hoping to realize a process of budget compilation led by lawmakers rather than bureaucrats.

But Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has stressed that the government must first revise earlier budgets and press for cutting wasteful spending before specifying any numerical goal for fresh outlays.

Gemba, who doubles as DPJ policy chief, also said the government will ask each ministry and agency to cut back on its request for spending in the year starting in April by 10 percent from fiscal 2010, excluding social security expenses.

The request for reduction comes in line with a Finance Ministry desire. However, there are negative views within the Cabinet about imposing such caps in a uniform manner.

Sengoku, speaking at a news conference, said the government is planning to conduct a "policy contest" in order to listen to public opinion on what policies they want the government to pursue as part of the growth stimulus steps.

"We will think about how to enable" many people to offer comments, the government's top spokesman said.
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