TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government is likely to forgo submitting a supplementary budget to the current parliamentary session until June 16, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.
Some lawmakers have called for additional estimates to fund spending to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as the state of emergency to prevent the spread of the virus increases the risk of another recession.
But the government felt there was not enough time to pass a budget through parliament with less than a month to go, the newspaper said, citing several lawmakers in the government and the ruling coalition.
Finance Minister Taro Aso has dismissed the need for additional spending now.
“I don’t think we need to budget immediately to respond to it,” Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Extending the parliamentary session was deemed difficult with a Tokyo metropolitan election looming on July 4 and the Tokyo Olympics starting July 23, the newspaper said.
For now, the government will tap into a 5 trillion yen ($ 46 billion) fund pool already set aside to fund emergency spending to fight the pandemic, Yomiuri reported.
Some of the money has already been spent but there is still 4 trillion yen left, which should last about six months unless there is an “explosive” spike in infections, the Yomiuri said. a government official.
The newspaper did not reveal the identity of the sources.
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(Reporting by Leika Kihara; additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Takaya Yamaguchi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Christopher Cushing and Kim Coghill)