Japan parliament approves USD 320 Bn budget for fiscal 2021

TOKYO: The Japanese parliament has approved a record 36.0 trillion yen, or USD 320 billion extra budget for fiscal 2021 to help the country's battered economy. According to Japanese media, the Japanese government will be compelled to issue fresh bonds worth 22.1 trillion yen to fund the majority of the supplementary budget.

As a result, by March, the outstanding balance of government bonds that must be cleared by tax collection will have surpassed 1,000 trillion yen. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet accepted the supplementary budget draught late last month, and the House of Representatives passed it on Wednesday.

Fiscal spending in the budget reached a new high of 55.7 trillion yen, including 31.6 trillion yen for the government's new stimulus plan announced in November. Kishida's policy package mostly tilted towards restricting Covid-19 over fears of the Omicron form spreading this winter as a preventative measure for another probable wave of the pandemic.

18.6 trillion yen of the extra budget was set aside for steps to combat the spread of Covid-19 and support medical institutions. A total of 2.0 trillion yen has been set available as subsidies to assist medical institutions in obtaining additional beds for Covid-19 patients.

1.2 trillion yen will be utilised as part of the stimulus package to fund the government's cash and voucher giveaway programme for children aged 18 and younger who live in households with yearly incomes of less than 9.6 million yen.

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