Aso eager to craft extra budget before planned sales tax hike

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday expressed his eagerness to craft an extra budget to prevent a planned sales tax hike in April next year from dragging down the economy.

"We should limit the impact (of the tax hike) on the economy. We need to consider compiling a supplementary budget" early next year, Aso said at a press conference.

Aso also said that whether to carry out the planned tax hike should be decided "sooner rather than later," indicating his government will make a judgment before the Group of 20 summit to be held in St. Petersburg in early September.

"We have internationally pledged" to implement the consumption tax hike, Aso said, reiterating his intention to raise the tax rate to 8 percent from the current 5 percent as scheduled.