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Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

Citing deficit, Gates moves to cut US defense budget

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Citing “dire” fiscal pressures, Defense Secretary Robert Gates proposed deeper cuts than planned in US military programs, scaling back ground forces for the first time since the 1990s.

Gates, in a compromise with the White House, said the 78 billion dollars in cuts and other measures would result in a slower pace of growth in defense budgets over the next five years, despite earlier plans to keep spending at a higher rate.

The proposed cuts will require reducing the size of the Army and the Marine Corps in 2015-16, with the Army reducing its force by 27,000 troops and the Marines by 15-20,000, he told a news conference.

The US Army and Marines have not faced reductions since the post-Cold War cuts in defense spending in the 1990s, and the size of the ground force — unlike the Air Force and Navy — has expanded since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

AFP file – A US soldier gets a hand to climb a wall during a patrol in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan.

The decision reflected the shifting political climate in Washington, with the spotlight on the government’s deficit overshadowing a long-running focus on national security after 2001.

The Pentagon chief said he would have preferred to avoid such cuts, “but this country’s dire fiscal situation and the threat it poses to American influence and credibility around the world will only get worse unless the US government gets its finances in order.”

As a major portion of the US budget, “the Pentagon cannot presume to exempt itself from the scrutiny and pressure faced by the rest of our government” to scale back spending, he said.

Some Republican leaders in Congress promptly criticized the proposed budget as a threat to the military’s health, while some budget hawks have argued for much deeper cuts in defense spending.

Gates said the Pentagon needed to steer a middle course without dramatic cuts, but insisted the bureaucracy had to change the way it operated.

“This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path — where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits, and lax attitudes towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow, and the nation’s grim financial outlook,” he said.

Despite talk of fiscal constraints, the vast American defense budget still far exceeds other countries and comes as European allies face drastic cutbacks to core military programs.

Gates had hoped to avoid any cuts that directly affected the fighting force but said the reductions in the Army and Marine Corps will not come until 2015 — when Washington hopes Afghan forces will take over responsibility for their country’s security.

The Army is currently at 569,000 troops, after a temporary increase of an additional 22,000 troops, and the Marine Corps has about 202,000 personnel.

The proposed defense budget for fiscal year 2012 will reach 553 billion dollars, growing at a modest rate of three percent, he said. But future budgets will gradually be scaled back to zero real growth in 2015 and 2016, Gates said.

Gates, mindful of a growing push to rein in the country’s deficit and national debt, has for months signaled plans to find tens of billions in savings in the defense budget with the aim of preserving key military programs.

The department found 150 billion dollars in savings that were meant to be plowed back into the defense budget, but the White House demanded a cut of 78 billion in military spending over the next five years.

The Pentagon used savings in overhead costs of 54 billion dollars to meet the White House request, but Gates still had to find an additional 24 billion.

The additional savings were found by adjusting economic forecasts for budgets in coming years, streamlining plans for the F-35 fighter and cutting the Army and Marine Corps, he said.

Gates confirmed that the cuts included cancelling an amphibious landing craft favored by the US Marine Corps, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, which he said had been plagued by repeated delays and rising costs.

Apart from cancelling the amphibious craft, Gates also proposed changes in the costly F-35 fighter jet program, putting the troubled Marine version of the aircraft on a two-year “probation” to resolve persistent technical problems.

For more cost savings, Gates proposed streamlining the Defense Department’s “sprawling intelligence apparatus,” maintaining a freeze on hiring civilians for three years, eliminating more than 100 general and senior officer positions and scrapping nearly 400 internal reports.

Source: SGGP

Gov’t ups education budget, support for ethnic minorities

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:08 am

Gov’t ups education budget, support for ethnic minorities

QĐND – Tuesday, January 04, 2011, 20:42 (GMT+7)

The education budget will be 2.9 percent higher this year at 5 trillion VND (256 million USD), according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

Nguyen Van Ngu, head of the Ministry’s Finance and Planning Department, said it would fund 100 percent of normal expenses by high schools and pre-university training schools for ethnic minorities, which are free.

This includes 2.8 billion VND (143,600 USD) for scholarships and allowances for the students, according to Ngu.

While public universities and colleges offering economics and finance streams will be provided funds for all their normal as well as one-off expenses, those offering other streams will be subsidised in part.

The amount earmarked for regular expenses is around 4.2 trillion VND, an increase of 11.9 percent over 2010.

The amount to be spent on training a student will increase by at least 17 percent at the university and college levels and 52 percent at the doctoral level.

More than 99 billion VND will be earmarked for the Ministry’s advanced programmes.

The HCM City and Hanoi Open Universities , National Economics University , Hanoi University , Foreign Trade University , and the HCM City University of Economics will get a total of 38 billion VND (1.9 million USD) for buying equipment and building facilities.

Viet-Duc University and the University of Sciences and Technology in Hanoi will get 28 billion VND.

“Universities and colleges are in better financial shape now after tuition and enrollment fees were raised in 2010,” Ngu added.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Japan to approve record budget: reports

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 5:56 am

 The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is on Friday expected to approve a record budget of 92.40 trillion yen (1.11 trillion dollars) for fiscal 2011, according to local media reports.

The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan (pictured) is on Friday expected to approve a record budget of 92.40 trillion yen (1.11 trillion US dollars) for fiscal 2011, according to local media reports

The budget is expected to be slightly larger than the initial budget for 2010, which stood at 92.30 trillion yen, Jiji Press and Kyodo News said.

The budget will include more than 44 trillion yen from issuing new government bonds, a second straight year that bonds have exceeded tax revenue as a source of income, the reports said.

The draft budget, which covers the financial year starting in April, was expected to be approved at a special cabinet meeting later on Friday.

Kan took office in June promising to slash spending and work towards cutting Japan’s massive public debt, which accounts for nearly 200 percent of gross domestic product, but the state of the economy has complicated his task.

Source: SGGP

NA adopts State budget estimates for next year

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

Greece cuts first-half budget defict by 42 percent

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

The debt-ridden Greek government said on Monday it had met its budget-cutting target in the first half of the year, when according to the central bank the deficit was slashed by almost 42 percent.

The country “met its goal” in the first six months of 2010, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said.

The shortfall in the January to June period came to 11.450 billion euros (14.3 billion dollars), down from 19.685 billion in the first half of 2009, according to the central bank.

Papaconstantinou said the budget deficit in the first half amounted to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product.

In June the deficit narrowed to 1.906 billion euros from 5.057 billion a year earlier.

Papaconstantinou said the government would soon make public its estimate of the public deficit for the first half of the year.

“The goal for the year is to reduce the public deficit by 40 percent and we are doing better than that,” he said, adding that he had “guarded optimism” on the implementation of tough austerity measures — tax rises and public sector wage cuts — aimed at shoring up the country’s parlous public finances.

The Socialist government has committed itself to reducing the public deficit to 8.1 percent of output this year from its current level of 14 percent.

The austerity measures were approved by the administration in exchange for loans totalling 110 billion euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.


Source: SGGP

G8 summit gathers amid budget cut row

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm

TORONTO, Canada, June 25, 2010 (AFP) – The United States urged Europe to reform its economies to raise growth as world leaders gathered for a summit Friday, amid tension over US warnings about the global recovery.

The United States has expressed concern about the speed at which European nations, particularly Germany, are withdrawing state spending put in place after global financial crisis and economic downturn.

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said: “Our job is to make sure we’re all sitting there together to focus on this challenge of growth and confidence because growth and confidence are paramount.”

Geithner played down America’s differences with Europe telling the BBC the two sides “have much more in common than we have differences.”

He said the summit offered US leaders “the chance to sit together and look at whether we’ve got a broad strategy across the country that’s going to strengthen this recovery.”

Europe “can make a choice to put in place the reforms and policies that will provide the possibility of stronger growth rates in the future,” he said, as thousands of officials, journalists and activists descended on eastern Ontario province.

The talks among the Group of Eight leading countries here were also to tackle global security and development, amid calls to deliver on past promises.

A mountie holding a Canadian flag stands guard as German Chancellor Angela Merkel steps off her plane after arriving at the airport of Toronto on June 24, 2010. AFP

Budget cuts have become a pressing issue in Europe since the Greek debt crisis, and because of risks that similar problems could arise in other eurozone countries.

US officials have argued that unduly rapid and deep budget cuts could endanger global economic recovery and even provoke a so-called double-dip recession.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has argued however that the German model of deficit cutting and disciplined public finances, and a focus on economic efficiency, is the one to be followed.

“I think that there will be very fruitful, but also very contentious, debates on this issue,” Merkel acknowledged.

Geithner said: “Everyone agrees that those deficits have to come down over time to a level that’s sustainable,” he said. But he warned the world “cannot depend as much on the US as it did in the past.”

The treasury secretary’s remarks appeared to put the emphasis on structural economic reforms in Europe.

He said economic growth is of “paramount” importance, as leaders from the G8 richest nations gather under a tight security blanket at an exclusive resort in remote Huntsville, Muskoka, about 220 kilometers (140 miles) north of Toronto.

European Union president Herman Van Rompuy told journalists the key themes of the G8 talks were “growth and confidence,” with the leaders first set to hold a working lunch to discuss the world economy.

“The global recovery is progressing better than previously envisioned, although at different speeds,” Rompuy said.

“Restoring confidence in budgetary policies goes hand in hand with growth strategies.”

After the conclusion of Friday’s gathering, officials were to attend a second summit on Saturday and Sunday as the Group of 20 developed and emerging nations convene, with 20,000 police deployed for a huge billion-dollar security operation.

For the first time the leaders are publishing figures in a bid to “provide a candid assessment on what the G8 has done,” they said in a report.

The so-called Muskoka Accountability Report lists country by country the pledges each nation has made since 2002 in key areas such as aid, economic development, health and food security and how far they have met them.

“In some areas, the G8 can point to considerable success; in others it has further to go to deliver fully on its promises,” the report says.

US President Barack Obama said he was calling for “a new era of engagement that yields real results for our people — an era when nations live up to their responsibilities and act on behalf of our shared security and prosperity.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron, making his first appearance at a major summit since taking power last month, also suggested such meetings rarely resulted in “tangible global action.”

“Too often these international meetings fail to live up to the hype and to the promises made,” he wrote in an editorial in Canada’s daily Globe and Mail.

“So the challenge for the upcoming G8 and G20 is to be more than just grand talking shops.”

The leaders of six African nations will also join G8 heads for Friday’s talks focused on helping the continent fight terrorism and achieving millennium goals to battle poverty.

Source: SGGP

NA focuses on economy, social affairs, and budget

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

NA deputies discuss State budget collection and spending

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

NA deputies discuss State budget collection and spending

QĐND – Thursday, April 15, 2010, 21:4 (GMT+7)

Participants in the National Assembly Standing Committee meeting in Hanoi on April 14 focused their discussions on State budget collection and spending in 2008 and 2009.

Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh revealed that in 2008, total revenue from taxes and other sources was VND430 trillion (US$22.6 billion) against an earnings forecast of VND323 trillion (US$17 billion) – an increase of 33.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the year’s spending was nearly VND452 trillion (US$23.7 billion) or 13.5 percent over the forecast.

Mr Ninh said the 13.5 percent over-spending was mainly in the areas of development and subsidy for imported oil and gas.

According to Minister Ninh, by late 2008, the Government debt stood at 33.4 percent of the GDP, while the country’s foreign debt was 29.3 percent of the GDP. “These debt figures remain under control,” he said.

Meanwhile, in 2009, Mr Ninh said VND442 trillion (US$23.2 billion) was collected, 13.4 percent over the plan.

In an appraisal report, Dinh Trinh Hao, vice-chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance and Budget, said the 13.4 percent collected over the plan was a great achievement.

Most members said over-spending estimates for 2009 should increase to 6.9 percent of the GDP, as stated in last November’s NA meeting. They argued that the increase in over – spending would help ease inflation.

Lawmakers agreed with the Government’s proposals to transfer the remaining VND8.955 trillion from 2008 to the 2009 budget-spending plan and that it should be used on capital-construction activities and State credit schemes.

NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien praised the Government’s performance in 2009 despite the global economic downturn. “The Government was able to achieve GDP growth of 5.32 percent in 2009, while ensuring good social security,” he noted.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Gov’t tightens budget spending on properties abroad

In Vietnam Economy on March 17, 2010 at 2:47 am

Gov’t tightens budget spending on properties abroad

QĐND – Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 20:43 (GMT+7)

From April 26, 2010, purchases or construction of offices abroad worth 10 million USD upwards that use State budgets have to get a nod from the Prime Minister, decided a new regulation.

The Government decree No.23/2010/ND-CP sets qualifications for agencies to buy properties abroad with State budgets, which are limited to State-run agencies or agencies fed by State budgets.

The beneficiaries include those representative agencies abroad which have not yet owned any office buildings or any kinds of workplaces.

Also eligible are agencies abroad with their office and living space narrower than 70 percent of standards or their offices and accommodations getting degraded seriously.

Relevant properties projects abroad worth 10 million USD upwards also need to receive the Prime Minister’s approval in procedures and proceedings of investments and construction.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

US reports December budget deficit at 91.85 billion dollars

In World on January 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

The US government budget deficit hit 91.854 billion dollars in December, sharply higher from the same month a year earlier, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

The budget shortfall for last month compared with 51.754 billion dollars in December 2008, the figures showed. But it was less than 120.289 billion a month earlier.

In the first three months of the US fiscal year, the accumulated deficit is 388.5 billion dollars, up from 332.5 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The White House is forecasting a deficit for the full fiscal year of some 1.5 trillion dollars, which would eclipse the record of 1.416 trillion in the fiscal year ended September 30.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share