03 November 2015

East Timor Government proposes 2016 to Parliament 2 weeks later than legally required, says La'o Hamutuk

ETLJB 3/11/2015 One of East Timor's leading civil society organisations, La'o Hamutuk, has reported that on 29 October, the Ministry of Finance sent its proposal for the General State Budget for 2016 to Parliament.

According to Lao Hamutuk, this is 2 weeks later than is required by the law of the country.

La'o Hamutuk notes that "The Government informed Parliament that the budget would be two weeks late, but Parliament did not grant an exception (as they had in 2010), so this appears to violate Article 30 of Law 13/2009 which says that "Government shall present to the National Parliament by the 15 October the draft Budget Law for the following financial year."  Source: http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE16/15OGE16.htm#sib Accessed 3/11/2015.

Lao Hamutuk states that the "Ministry also made the eight-volume set of explanatory books available, some in two or three languages."

La'o Hamutuk has posted the Budget Books and some preliminary analysis to on the internet at http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/OGE16/15OGE16.htm.

Although the explanatory material discusses slower economic growth, falling oil revenues and investment returns, and the depletion of Timor-Leste's oil and gas reserves, the expenditure level is virtually the same as in 2015, totalling $1,562,200,000.

According to the La'o Hamutuk analysis, State expenditures have been allocated as follows:
  • $182 million for Salaries and Wages (2.2% more than the rectified 2015 budget, 12% over  the fiscal envelope adopted by the Council of Ministers last June )
  • $469 million for Goods and Services (9% less than 2015, 11% over fiscal envelope), including $34 million through the Human Capital Development Fund
  • $476 million for Public Transfers (4.7% more than 2015, 38% over fiscal envelope), including $218 million for ZEESM (63% more than 2015, 77% over fiscal envelope)
  • $18 million for Minor Capital (41% less than 2015, 17% more than fiscal envelope)
  • $418 million for Development Capital (6.9% more than 2015, 3.6% less than the fiscal envelope),  including $377 million through the Infrastructure Fund.
The $1,562 million revenue is projected to be comprised of:
  • $545 million Estimated Sustainable Income  to be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund
  • $739 million more from the Petroleum Fund above the ESI (7% more than in 2015, although the Petroleum Fund balance is the lowest it has been since May 2014)
  • $171 million from domestic revenues (taxes and fees)
  • $107 million in loans, $41 million of which will be carried over from 2015.

The budget will be studied by the Parliament's Committees followed by a plenary sitting to discuss and approve the budget.

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