Government submits 2024 General State Budget Proposal to Parliament

The Government, through the Minister of Finance, Santina José Rodrigues F. Viegas Cardoso, the Vice-Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Adérito Hugo da Costa and the Vice-Minister of Finance, Felicia Carvalho, submitted today, November 23rd, 2023, the 2024 General State Budget (GSB) Law Proposal to the President of the National Parliament, Maria Fernanda Lay.  Government submits 2024 General State Budget Proposal to Parliament

The 2024 General State Budget has a total consolidated value of US$ 1.95 billion for the Central Administration, RAEOA and Social Security, not including the Social Security Reserve Fund. This figure includes an allocation of US$ 1.83 billion for the central administration and US$ 60 million for the RAEOA.

In his letter to the President of the National Parliament, alongside the Law Proposal, the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, pointed out that the 2024 General State Budget “has its genesis in the strategic objectives defined in the 9th Constitutional Government’s Programme” and “lays the foundations for achieving the central objectives outlined for the next five years, defining as priorities public investment in fundamental infrastructures and economic growth as the central and fundamental engine of national development”.  Government submits 2024 General State Budget Proposal to Parliament

He also mentioned that “the Government has identified three crucial areas for substantial investment in productive infrastructure”, which are the electricity sector, infrastructure building and oil and natural gas, stressing the importance of “guaranteeing a reliable and accessible energy supply for the population and companies”, as well as developing infrastructure and optimising national natural resources to promote sustainable economic development.

The Head of Government also highlighted that “the 2024 General State Budget also marks the adoption of several priority and strategic initiatives and reforms set out in the Government Programme” to achieve the 9th Constitutional Government’s priorities of “economic diversification and job creation”. Among these initiatives and reforms, the Prime Minister emphasised the development of the South Coast, the completion of the process of defining land and sea borders with Indonesia, the conclusion of the installation of the optic fibre cable, the reform of the justice sector, and the increase in state support for the elderly and disabled, along with “investment in key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, livestock, tourism and the promotion of small and medium-sized industries”, “to reduce dependence on imported goods by replacing them with products that can be manufactured domestically, promoting an increase in training opportunities and job creation”.  Government submits 2024 General State Budget Proposal to Parliament

” To enable the adoption of these strategic and indispensable measures to meet the needs of the current generation and provide tools for future generations, to promote the well-being of every Timorese citizen and to ensure the country’s long-term sustainable development,” the Prime Minister submitted “for the consideration of the National Parliament the approval of a transfer from the Petroleum Fund that is higher than the Estimated Sustainable Income.”  Government submits 2024 General State Budget Proposal to Parliament

Given “that we are already at the end of November, as well as the fact that November the 28th and December the 7th and 8th are public holidays and that the Christmas period is still approaching, the Head of the Government requested “that the National Parliament determine the urgency of the legislative process regarding the 2024 General State Budget Law Proposal”, given that “examining the budget proposal without urgency would prevent the legislative process from being concluded before the end of this year, which would imply extending the validity of the 2023 General State Budget Law into 2024 and the consequent application of the duodecimal regime”.