2021 GSB Budgetary Days

Tue. 04 of August of 2020, 16:14h

The Government, through the Ministry of Finance, organized on August 4th, 2020, the Budgetary Days, a seminar that marks the 2021 General State Budget (GSB) preparation beginning, in the Xanana Gusmão auditorium, at the Ministry of Finance, in Dili.

The seminar, under the theme of "Budget for Recovery and Strengthen Development", aimed to discuss the national priorities, based on the Government Program, National Strategic Development Plan, Sustainable Development Goals, Fiscal Policy Performance, Impact of COVID-19 and the Economic Recovery Plan, in order to define a fiscal envelope for the 2021 year, that meets the country real needs.

Minister of Finance, Fernando Hanjam, in his speech, highlighted that this seminar aims to "promote reflection regarding the Government's commitments for the 2021 GSB preparation, in order to be able to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak impact, specifically on the economic recovery and also to ensure the development continuity and provision of quality public services for Timor-Leste people".

Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, in the opening speech of the event, reminded that "the year 2020 is being a very challenging year", firstly, "starting with the failure of the budget in the National Parliament", "which forced the nation to work under a duodecimal regime and a new political arrangement in the National Parliament to be able to sustain Government, without the need to resort to early elections", then, with the "March 13th and May 22nd natural disasters, which damaged citizens and State goods and property, at a total cost of around 50 million dollars" and finally with COVID-19, which, in addition to "the health implications and risks to health", is causing "economic and social impacts".

In response to these challenges, the Head of Government stressed "the increasingly high maturity level of leaders and citizens", for "not just confronting the problems, but seeking solutions". In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he explained that "the Government has sought to manage the situation by balancing the response to health issues with the response to socio-economic impacts", with the "implementation of measures to prevent and combat COVID-19", on one hand, and with the "implementation of a package of economic stabilization measures" and through the "creation of the Commission for the Preparation of the Economic Recovery Plan", on the other hand.

Prime Minister expressed the hope "that the presentations made during the Budgetary Days may stimulate ideas, so that everyone can contribute to the definition of priorities for the 2021 GSB".

During the Seminar, the participants attended presentations related to the programs, priorities and goals, on the socio-economic performance and COVID-19 impact on the economy, the economic recovery plan, the performance of the fiscal policy and the 2021 GSB proposal.

Lastly, the national priorities and fiscal ceiling of the proposed 2021 GSB were discussed.