23 June 2010

Parliament Committee turns back gov't budget proposal

At the end of May, Timor-Leste's Government proposed a mid-year budget rectification, including $178 million in new expenditures (a 27% increase) and an additional withdrawal of $309 million from the Petroleum Fund. They requested that $811 million be transferred from the Fund in 2010, far above the $502 million Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI). Parliamentary committees held hearings with Ministers and others, and Committee C (Economy, Finances and Anti-Corruption )reported (English or Portuguese) their findings to the Parliamentary plenary on 22 June.

Committee C recommended approval of only $52.3 million of the $178 million in new expenditures proposed by the Government. The Committee also recommended against withdrawing more than the ESI from the Petroleum Fund and suggested that the Decentralized Development Package (PDD) projects be managed by their original ministries as capital expenditures, rather than becoming public transfers under the Ministry of State Administration.  Its 38-page report contains many other comments and recommendations.

As Parliament begins its two-week plenary debate, La'o Hamutuk feels that the Committee's analysis should be widely available, so we have scanned the Portuguese report and made a preliminary English translation. Follow these links for background information, analysis, and the budget documents or for La'o Hamutuk's submission to Committee C.

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