Japan MPs to begin debating sale of govt stake in Japan Tobacco
Japan’s ruling party will on Friday ask parliament to begin considering the sale of its entire stake in Japan Tobacco along with some of its shares in other firms, bringing it closer to raising additional funds for rebuilding in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The government ultimately wants to sell all its 50 percent stake in the world’s third-largest cigarette maker, as well as shares in energy-related firms such as Inpex Corp , the nation’s top oil and gas explorer.
A government panel last week recommended the government initially reduce its hold in Japan Tobacco to one third, before divesting the rest of its shares later.
Draft proposals obtained by Reuters on Wednesday and to be submitted to parliament on Friday did not give any timeframe, however.
The government this month drafted its third extra budget for this fiscal year worth about 12 trillion yen ($157 billion) for post-disaster projects, and wants to raise taxes by 9.2 trillion yen over a 10-year period.
The government also aims to achieve non-tax revenue contributions of 7 trillion yen in large part through spending cuts and sales of its stakes in various firms.
The ruling party also wants parliament to consider the early sale of shares in the country’s massive postal savings system, according to the draft proposals.
The government’s holding in Japan Tobacco has already come down to the legal minimum and any sale would need revisions to the law.
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