Japan lower house approves draft budget

April 17, 2013 at 6:12 AM

TOKYO, April 17 (UPI) -- Japan's lower house of Parliament approved and sent to the upper house Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's record stimulus-infused $953 billion budget.

The fiscal year began April 1 and the budget for the year was delayed as the Abe government was installed only in late December after that month's elections.

His Liberal Democratic Party doesn't have a majority in the upper house. However, if the budget is rejected there, it can still go into force by May 15 under a constitutional provision that gives greater weight to decisions taken in the lower house, Kyodo News reported.

The Abe government is fighting to pull the Japanese economy out of chronic recession through a number of stimulus measures. The Bank of Japan, as part of its monetary easing, has doubled its inflation target to 2 percent to be achieved in two years.

More than 46 percent of the current budget is proposed to be financed through a new bond issue.

Out of the $953 billion, about $230 billion would go for national debt-servicing and the rest will fund policy spending, Kyodo reported.

Public works spending will increase more than 15 percent from the previous year to $54 billion.

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