Council of Ministers Meeting of 1st March 2018 and Council of Ministers Extraordinary Meeting of March 5th 2018

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Seventh Constitutional Government


Press Release

Council of Ministers Meeting of 1st March 2018 and Council of Ministers Extraordinary Meeting of March 5th 2018

The Government met in the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the proposal presented by TradeInvest Timor-Leste, I.P. of the Special Investment Agreement between the Timorese Government and the company Pelican Paradise Group Limited, under the Private Investment Law in force, approved through Law No. 17/2011 of September 28th, defining a special legal regime for the revised investment project, whose total value will be approximately three hundred and ten million US dollars ($ 310.000.000,00). The scale of the investment project and the national importance of its economic, social and technological impact are among the justifiable grounds expressly presented for the proposal of the Special Investment Agreement. According to the draft agreement submitted, the State of Timor-Leste undertakes to grant the right to use to the area previously approved in the Master Plan, as well as to grant tax benefits and customs incentives to the Investor for the development of a project for the construction of a tourist complex in Tasitolu/Tibar which will enable the creation of approximately 1,500 jobs, during the construction stage and 1300 permanent jobs. The agreement should be signed as soon as some technical aspects are reviewed to create the necessary conditions for the successful implementation of the project.

The Government approved the Decree-Law proposal, submitted by the National Electoral Commission, to grant an extraordinary allowance to the members of the Electoral Administration Bodies in Timor-Leste. This extraordinary allowance is established through Decree-Law, between the date of publication of the Decree of the President of the Republic, which summons the electoral act, and the date of publication of the results in the Jornal da República (Official Gazette). The setting of the proposed values took into account the values assigned in previous electoral processes and aims to compensate the effort provided by the Electoral Administration Organs in the organization, conduction and supervision of the early elections process of May 2018.

The Minister in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Adriano do Nascimento, presented the proposal approved by the Government Decree Council of Ministers for the granting of a extraordinary payment to the officials of the National Press of Timor-Leste, I.P., assigned with the printing of ballot papers during the parliamentary elections. These officials will have to work continuously for 24 hours a day, during a period of over three weeks, exceeding the limits of 40 hours per month of extraordinary work provided by law, in order to ensure compliance with the established electoral timetable and the short period of time available for the printing of ballot papers.

The Council of Ministers approved the Government Decree Proposal, submitted by the Minister of State Administration, Valentim Ximenes, regarding the amendment to the Government Decrees No. 19/2017 and 21/2017 on the organization and operation of polling stations and on the procedures for voting, the counting of votes, and the tabulation of results at home and abroad. The amendments presented define the responsible entities for registering and changing residence in the electoral registration process in 2018 and the deadlines for sending STAE the list of prisoners, prison guards on duty on the election day, medical personnel and in-service nursing, patients and accompanying person.

The Council of Ministers analyzed the proposal for a Decree-Law submitted by the Minister of State Administration regarding the first amendment to the Decree-Law no. 3/2016, of March 16th, which establishes the Municipal Administrations Statute, Municipal Authorities and Interministerial Technical Group for Administrative Decentralization. The proposed amendment foresees the need for prior authorization by the Ministry of State Administration for the conclusion of contracts, appointment of positions for leadership and exoneration duties, while at the same time strengthening relations between the Central Government and Municipal Administrations and Municipalities Authorities, as well as to promote the exemption and rigor principles in Public Administration.

The Council of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Planning and Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes, of the loan additional agreements between Timor-Leste and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the Tibar-Liquiça and Tibar-Gleno roads, whose construction projects have undergone changes with respect to the initial agreement, and require funds reallocation in order to allow the engineering and retention works payment necessary to the improvement of these road projects.

The Council of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of State Administration for the revocation of the Decree-Law no. 37/2016, of September 7th, which established the transitional regime for filling the director and head positions of municipal leaders and municipal administrations during the administrative decentralization phase, instituting automatic career promotion, service commission extension, and establishment of a minimum degree to hold management and leadership positions, in breach of the Civil Service Statute provisions, approved through the Law no. 8/2004, of June 16th, and in the Decree-Law no. 25/2016, of June 29th. Thus, the revocation of the aforementioned Decree-Law aims to remedy an illegality, ensuring compliance with the legislation in force that regulates the Civil Service, not allowing discriminatory conditions to be established for public officials because of their place of service.

Finally, the Minister of Social Solidarity, Florentina Smith, submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval the proposal for a Decree-Law on support for employers in the scope of joining the contributory social security regime. As it is a new political reform in Timor-Leste and considering the difficulties presented by companies for the timely fulfillment of their legal obligations, it is necessary to approve a legislative decree that protects the contributory careers and workers' rights, while at the same time support and encourage employers in this initial phase of joining the regime. Accordingly, this Decree-Law provides that all entities with more than one hundred employees may regularize their social security situation up to June 30th, 2018 and that entities with one hundred or fewer employees may do so by October 30th, 2018, benefiting exemption from fines and default interest. Entities that have already completed their enrollment and social security payments may receive a bonus of one percentage point in the contributory rate from February 2018 for a period of two years or suspend their enrollments in accordance with the new term, without prejudice to the contributory career of their workers. ENDS