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All I can formulate is the phrase "difficult task is set for somebody". I feel it sounds clumsy. What is a natural phrase to convey the following meaning?

A difficult task is set for the government in the near future, on the one hand - to keep the budget, on the other hand - to ensure support for businesses in entrepreneurial and investment activities.

  • "sb." isn't an abbreviation for "somebody" -- it doesn't have an abbreviation. – Jason S Nov 5 '14 at 13:39
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    @Jason That's not true. Perhaps you mean to say it isn't usually abbreviated that way, which is true, but it's common enough in (for example) certain dictionaries. It's a mistake to claim the abbreviation doesn't exist. – snailboat Nov 5 '14 at 17:14
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One phrase sometimes used is herculean task, a metaphor based on the labors of Hercules.

TFD defines herculian as:

herculean (adj.) requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc: a herculean task.

Although Hercules accomplished his tasks long ago, the phrase is still in vogue. You can find many instances of it in contemporary news articles, like this one:

As genotyping and companion diagnostics are used more widely in clinical care, determining the ‘best’ therapy for a given patient will become a massively complex task. Considering all the combinations of genomic risk factors, drug interactions and phenotypic influences, selecting the most appropriate therapy will be a Herculean task. (Source)

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You can simply say it as:

In the future it will be difficult for the government to set the budget and to ensure support for businesses in entrepreneurial and investment activities.

Or,

In the near future it will be a difficult task/challenge for the government to set the budget and to ensure support for businesses in entrepreneurial and investment activities.

  • Thanks. But I desperately need to use something like 'task', 'goal' or 'challenge' as well as 'in perspective' or 'in the near future'. – user11470 Nov 5 '14 at 9:45
  • @Humbulani I edited my answer. You can see it above. – user6200 Nov 5 '14 at 9:50
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A difficult task is set for the government in the near future, on the one hand - to keep the budget, on the other hand - to ensure support for businesses in entrepreneurial and investment activities.

My two cents:

In the days ahead, the government will face the hard task of keeping the budget untouched on the one hand and ensuring support to businesses engaged in entrepreneurial and investment activities on the other.

Humbulani, it's good excercise to look in thesaura and idiom collections online for alternatives to particular words and expressions and then reformulate your sentence in several different ways. Or, just type out related expression you know in a separate text editor window, a kind of brainstorm session:

"on the one \ other hand"
Balancing act, tip the scales, double-edged sword, keep the balance, to balance one against the other, to combine one and the other, to blend, to walk the line,
It will be the hard balancing act to..
The Government will be faced with..
"In the near future"
In the perspective, in the days ahead, in the weaks ahead, in the near-term perspective,
The Government's near-term task will be tough: to keep the budget while ensuring that the businesses engaged in entrepreneurial and investment activities are provided with support.

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