Unused reconstruction budget exceeds ¥2 trillion

Unused reconstruction budget exceeds ¥2 trillion


7:55 pm, July 31, 2014

Jiji PressOf the ¥7.51 trillion budget set aside in fiscal 2013 to rebuild areas hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, ¥2.65 trillion, or 35.3 percent, was left unused, the Reconstruction Agency said Thursday.

The proportion of the unspent funding was almost unchanged from 35.2 percent in fiscal 2012, indicating that the country has made little progress in overcoming delays in implementing reconstruction projects.

The agency said the reconstruction funds were unused because it took time to obtain local consent for reviews of reconstruction plans and to acquire land, and also because bidding for many reconstruction projects ended in failure due in part to price hikes for construction materials.

The reconstruction budget for fiscal 2013, which ended in March, consisted of the special account budget for reconstruction programs and funds carried over from fiscal 2011-2012. Of the total, ¥4.86 trillion was executed.

Of the unused funds, ¥1.96 trillion will be carried over to fiscal 2014 and ¥691.7 billion will be used to finance projects other than those originally planned.

The budget implementation rate stood at 62.8 for projects to assist disaster victims and at 77.5 percent for projects to revitalize industries. But the rate was low, at 47 percent, for reconstruction projects related to the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.