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Japan gov’t to spend 6.2 t. yen to fight soaring prices

  • April 25, 2022
  • , Jiji Press , 10:59 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, April 25 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government is considering spending 6.2 trillion yen from state coffers for a comprehensive emergency package of measures to address soaring prices, sources said Monday.

The total size of the package, including measures involving the private sector, is expected to hit 13.2 trillion yen.

The package, to be decided as early as Tuesday, will feature expanded aid for oil wholesalers to contain surges in gasoline prices and support for needy people.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered the compilation of the package as prices are rising for a wide range of products, including crude oil and grains, fueled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The government plans to get a 2.7-trillion-yen supplementary budget enacted during the ongoing regular session of the Diet, the country’s parliament, ending in June in order to help finance the package.

The government also plans to spend 1.5 trillion yen from reserve funds set aside under its fiscal 2022 budget. It can tap the reserve funds at its own discretion without holding discussions at the Diet. Of the 1.5 trillion yen, 1.1 trillion yen would be money secured for measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the planned 6.2-trillion-yen state expenditures, 1.5 trillion yen will be used for addressing surging crude oil prices, 0.5 trillion yen for securing stable supplies of raw materials and food, and 1.3 trillion yen each for supporting needy people and helping small companies.

In addition, 1.5 trillion yen will be used to replenish the reserve funds.

As a measure to tackle higher crude oil prices, the government plans to raise the cap on its subsidies to oil wholesalers to 35 yen per liter from 25 yen at present.

It aims to lower its target price for the national average price of regular gasoline at service stations by 4 yen to 168 yen per liter.

The package will also include a 50,000-yen handout to low-income child-rearing families per child and an extension of a special loan program in which government-backed lenders offer loans effectively free of interest and collateral to businesses facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis by three months to the end of September.

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