The Urgency of the Budget Amendment

Tue. 21 of November of 2017, 14:55h

On November 20th, the Government’s request for an urgent consideration of the Budget Amendment was rejected by the National Parliament. On the same day, the members of the opposition filed an appeal against the order of the President of the National Parliament that admits the proposal and also submitted a motion of censure against the Government.

On Monday, the National Parliament scheduled a vote on the Government's request for an "expedited procedure" of the Budget Amendment process. Last week, on November 15th, Commission-C (which deals with Public Finance matters) issued a report rejecting the request which accompanied the presentation of the proposed Budget Amendment, sent by the Government to the National Parliament, on the 9th of November. In the proposal, the Government explained that the release of funds need to be accelerated to pay off accumulated debts and adapt the budget to the structure of the Seventh Constitutional Government, so that the normal functioning of the Executive can be resumed. Paying debts to foreign hospitals with which Timor-Leste has agreements for treatments that do not exist in the country is among the most obvious motives that led the Government to ask Members of Parliament for a quick response.

The Government's request was rejected by the Parliament with 35 votes in favour of the rejection and 30 votes against. This means that the Budget Amendment will now follow its normal process. waiting The National Parliament will now schedule the agenda to discuss the Government's proposal.

During the debate on the need for the budget, the 35 opposition members filed an appeal against the decision of the President of the National Parliament instructing that the proposed budget amendment be tabled. The date for the assessment of this appeal will also be defined by the National Parliament.

The proposal for the first amendment to Law no. 13/2016, of December 29, approving the State Budget for 2017 (Rectification Budget), was approved at the Council of Ministers meeting on the 8th of November. It sets total expenditure for the current year at $ 1,620,000,000 (one billion, six hundred and twenty million dollars), fulfilling the objective of expenditure restraint defined by the Executive.

Also at the parliamentary session on November 20, the opposition presented a motion of censure to the Seventh Government, requesting "for the debate in a Plenary session be carried out with urgency”.