At the conclusion of a long speech, (Tetum original) Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao urged everyone to "maintain political harmony and maturity, to respect the value of dialogue and the right to have different, although constructive, opinions." However, constructiveness should not be determined only by the listener, and is not the same as uncritical applause.
complete Committee C report in English or Portuguese. Among other things, Committee C recommended that
- Solid data should underlie the government's economic policies.
- Autonomous agencies should be reviewed and included in the state budget (especially the Petroleum and Lottery agencies).
- The President's anti-poverty fund should be canceled.
- Greater priority should be given to health, education and agriculture.
- Complete cost information about the Hera power station should be provided.
- Oil price projections be more prudent and consistent.
- Special funds should not be created without complete information and legal foundation, and the infrastructure fund is too large.
- Unspent Petroleum Fund withdrawals should be left in the Fund at the end of the year.
Although La'o Hamutuk has been outspoken in our critiques and suggestions about this budget, we join the PM in hoping for a better future for the Timorese people. We urge all Parliamentarians, leaders and commentators to think far beyond next year's election as you participate in a vigorous debate on the budget.