Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 1, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of April 1, 2020

The Council of Ministers met at the Dili Convention Center and approved a draft Government Decree, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, on the first amendment to Government Decree No. 1/2020 of 15 January on the budget execution on a duodecimal basis of the 2020 financial year. The amendment seeks to enable the normal activity of the State to be carried out, enabling the execution of public expenditure up to the limit set in the General State Budget of the previous year and to establish a set of safeguards that ensure prudent management of budgetary appropriations. The Government Decree, now approved, provides for a set of exceptions to the duodecimal regime, which will allow the solution of various onstraints that have prevented the State from fully fulfilling its obligations, in particular in responding to the current emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic crisis.

The Acting Minister of Finance presented a draft Government Decree, approved by the Council of Ministers, concerning the first amendment to Government Decree No. 3/2019 of March 27 on the implementation of the General State Budget for 2019. This amendment aims to enable the realization of expenditure related to the prevention and combat of COVID-19, with the necessary urgency and agility, namely expenditure related to aviation services, and with contributions to international organizations, before verifying the effective provision of services or delivery of goods.

The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Deliberation, presented by the Acting Minister of Finance, on the budget ceiling for the month of April under the duodecimal regime, with a total value of USD 114,887,000, excluding loans. The resolution provides for expenses related to the acquisition of medicines and equipment to respond to COVID-19, payment of pensions and the payment of the lease of the facilities of diplomatic missions. It is also foreseen in the deliberation, the suspension of expenditure, which during the duration of the state of emergency, is suspended or reduced, namely expenditure related to local and foreign travel, organisation of training and seminars, and maintenance of vehicles.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation presented a draft Resolution, approved by the Council of Ministers, for the signing of a contract between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for the purchase of medicines and medical equipment, related to the response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires, which establishes the Public Company "Be'e Timor-Leste" (BTL, E. P.) and approves its respective Statutes. This public company will have as its mission the provision of the public service of water supply and sanitation, through investment in the construction, management and supervision of water and sanitation systems throughout the territory, comprising the entire water cycle, as well as, through the establishment of uniform service levels in the water supply and in the supply of sanitation to the population.

The Minister of Public Works also presented a draft Decree-Law, approved by the Council of Ministers, on the creation of the water and sanitation regulatory body, I. P. (ERAS I. P.). The task of this public institute is to propose, monitor and ensure the implementation of a national water resources policy in order to ensure its sustainable and integrated management, as well as to ensure the supervision of the public water supply services, urban waste water sanitation and municipal solid waste.

The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law, also presented by the Minister of Public Works, which establishes the criteria for controlling the quality of water for human consumption. The approved diploma establishes the criteria that define the essential requirements of water quality for human consumption, aiming to protect the health of the population from the adverse effects resulting from possible contamination, from capture to distribution to the consumer, ensuring the supply of drinking water and the balance of its composition.  ENDS