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公共事業予算 防災や成長分野に重点配分を

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 6, 2013
Use FY14 public works budget to repair aging infrastructure
公共事業予算 防災や成長分野に重点配分を(8月5日付・読売社説)

The nation’s roads and bridges must be improved and comprehensive disaster countermeasures developed without fail by utilizing the government’s limited sources of revenue.
 限られた財源を有効に活用し、道路や橋などの整備や防災対策を実現しなければならない。

To this end, efforts should be redoubled to enhance the efficiency of public works projects.
公共事業の一層の効率化が問われよう。

The government, in working out guidelines for estimated budget appropriation requests from ministries and agencies for fiscal 2014, is set to reduce their allocations for discretionary spending for policy implementation, including public works projects, by about 10 percent compared with the fiscal 2013 initial budget.
 政府は2014年度予算案の概算要求基準で、公共事業などの裁量的経費を13年度当初予算から10%ほど減らす方針だ。

In the budget for this fiscal year, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has earmarked 5.3 trillion yen for public works spending, the first year-on-year increase in four years, with a view to realizing the Abenomics policy package for refloating the national economy.
 安倍政権は、経済政策「アベノミクス」を推進するため、今年度予算で公共事業を5・3兆円と4年ぶりに増やしている。

Given that Japan’s government finances are in the worst shape of all industrially advanced economies, however, the government cannot simply continue to expand outlays for public works projects.
 だが、先進国で最悪の財政事情を抱える中、安易に公共事業の拡大を継続することは許されない。

It is reasonable that the government plans to impose curbs on public works spending based on the stringent guidelines for budget appropriation requests for the next fiscal year.
厳しい概算要求基準を課し、歯止めをかけるのは妥当と言える。

But at the same time, the government is poised to create special, expensive budgetary allocations that will not be subject to the envisioned across-the-board spending cuts. Sufficient cost-benefit considerations are a must in scrutinizing what policy measures should be included in allocations not subject to budgetary curbs.
 政府は、一律の削減対象としない多額の特別枠も設ける方向だ。これについても費用対効果を吟味する必要がある。

Such anti-disaster measures as boosting earthquake resistance of buildings and strengthening the aging infrastructure are indispensable for ensuring the public’s safety. The pace of projects aimed at recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which have been delayed because of such factors as shortages of manpower and construction materials, must be swiftly accelerated.
 建物の耐震化などの防災対策や老朽化した社会資本(インフラ)の更新は、国民の安全を守るために不可欠だ。人手と資材の不足などで遅れている東日本大震災の復興も加速しなければならない。

‘Selection, concentration’

As part of the government’s growth strategy, it is essential to improve infrastructure, especially such things as arterial road networks in urban areas and airports that can serve as international hub airports.
 成長戦略を後押しするうえで都市部の基幹道路網や国際拠点となる空港など、インフラの整備も求められる。

To smoothly carry through these projects, the principle of “selection and concentration” should be thoroughly employed.
 こうした公共事業を着実に進めるため、「選択と集中」を徹底すべきだ。

We want to see urgent anti-disaster projects and measures to improve infrastructure given high priority in budget allocations for fiscal 2014.
緊急性が高い災害対策や老朽化対策へ重点的に予算配分してもらいたい。

Costs for improving antiquated infrastructure will reach an estimated 190 trillion yen during the next 50 years, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. Under the circumstances, it is unrealistic to entirely rebuild aging infrastructure.
 国土交通省は、老朽化したインフラの更新費用が今後50年間で約190兆円に上ると推計している。インフラをすべて造り直すことは現実的ではない。

The idea of excluding low-use public facilities and bridges from repair and improvement projects is worthy of consideration.
 利用率が下がった公共施設や橋などは更新しないという考え方も検討に値しよう。

It is worrying that the old-fashioned style of implementing public works projects may return. In this connection, the Liberal Democratic Party vowed in its election platform in the House of Councillors election in July to “promote projects for enhancing national land resilience.”
 懸念されるのは、自民党が7月の参院選で、防災対策などの「国土強靱(きょうじん)化」を推進する公約を掲げたことに乗じて、旧来型の公共事業が息を吹き返すことだ。

It should never be forgotten that previous construction of unneeded roads, airports and other projects touted under the banner of large-scale development programs ended up worsening government finances.
 かつて大規模な開発事業のもとで、必要性の乏しい道路や空港を造り、財政悪化を招いたことを忘れてはなるまい。

To cut back on costs, due constideration must be paid to ways public works projects are undertaken.
 費用を抑制するには、公共事業の進め方にも工夫が要る。

For example, information technologies should be used to enhance the efficiency of inspection and repair of such facilties as roads and bridges. To this end, automatic collection and analysis of data obtained through high-performance sensors could lead to cost reduction as well as longer life spans of such facilities.
 センサーから得た情報を自動的に収集・分析するなど、IT(情報技術)を活用して道路や橋の点検や補修を効率化すれば、低コストで長寿命化が図れるだろう。

It could also be effective to integrate such public facilities as schools and libraries into single entities, while expediting diversification of their functions.
 学校や図書館などの公共施設を1か所に集約し、施設の多機能化を進めることも有効だ。

In addition, sufficient attention should be given to the wisdom of making the best use of the private finance initiative formula of the central and local governments to entrust construction and management of public facilities to private businesses.
国や自治体が公共施設の建設や運営を民間に委ねる「PFI」の活用にも知恵を絞るべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 5, 2013)
(2013年8月5日01時43分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-08-07 07:43 | 英字新聞

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