Japan to craft US$27b extra stimulus budget to spur growth: sources

[TOKYO] Japan's cabinet is set to approve on Friday an extra budget worth US$27 billion to fund stimulus spending for the current fiscal year ending in March to rev up the flagging economy, government sources told Reuters.

The 3.3213 trillion yen (S$38.2 billion) extra stimulus budget includes spending for steps to support elderly pensioners with cash benefits and farmers seen hit by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, the sources said on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been finalised.

In a show of efforts to fix dire public finances, the government will fund the stimulus without resorting to fresh borrowing, while tapping cash reserves left from the previous year's budget and higher-than-expected tax revenue, they said.

These funding sources will allow the government to reduce its plans to issue new bonds by 444.7 billion yen from the initially planned 36.9 trillion yen, they said.

The government revised up the tax revenue estimate for this fiscal year by 1.899 trillion yen to a 24-year high of 56.4 trillion yen, reflecting increase in corporate tax payments on the back of rising profits.

Non-tax revenue was cut by 346.6 billion yen from an initial estimate of 4.95 trillion yen, due to expected cuts in the Bank of Japan's payment into the government's coffers because of the bank's plan to replenish its reserves.

The extra budget will be sent to parliament for approval early next year, along with an annual budget for the coming fiscal year that starts in April.


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