Japan: Cabinet nod to 24.6 billion for relief work

The Cabinet of PM Naoto Kan agreed on a draft 2 trillion yen (USD 24.6 billion) as second extra budget for fiscal 2011 to finance relief work.

Tokyo: The Cabinet of Prime Minister
Naoto Kan on Tuesday agreed on a draft 2 trillion yen (USD 24.6
billion) as second extra budget for fiscal 2011 that would
finance relief work after the earthquake and tsunami in March,
including health checks over the next decades on people
affected by the subsequent nuclear crisis.

But the future of the budget was thrown into
uncertainty the same day as a minister charged with
reconstruction work associated with the March 11 disasters
quit only a week after his appointment. Opposition parties,
which control the House of Councillors, called for Kan`s
resignation to take responsibility for the fiasco.

The government plans to submit the draft budget and
related bills to the Diet on July 15, eyeing possible
implementation as early as July 22, officials said. It will
not issue any new debt to fund the budget, instead tapping the
surplus funds of the previous year.

It has already executed the 4.02 trillion yen first
supplementary budget for the year through next March to help
rebuild areas of north-eastern Japan devastated by the natural
disasters. The total amount of some 6 trillion yen is almost
double the combined size of three extra budgets following the
1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The Finance Ministry is expected to soon start
drafting a third budget for reconstruction, which some
officials say could top 10 trillion yen by itself.

"We have created the second budget to finance some
projects that are not covered by the first budget but must be
embarked on as quickly as possible," Finance Minister
Yoshihiko Noda told reporters.


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