Council of Ministers’ meeting of March 7th, 2017

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government


Dili, March 7th, 2017

Press Release

Council of Ministers meeting of March 7th, 2017

The Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved the Roadmap for Budgeting by Programmes and the establishment of the working group for the management of public finances. The roadmap drawn up by the OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, analyses the progress made in the field of budgeting by programmes, and proposes, in the short and medium term, the adoption of an implementation plan for these types of budgets and further reforms to public financial management. The preparation of the document was based on consultations with ministries, the National Parliament, civil society organizations, representatives of the private sector, academia and aid and development experts working in Timor-Leste. A working group was set up to ensure the operationalization, linkage and monitoring of the implementation of this Roadmap.

The Council of Ministers approved the creation of TATOLI – Timor-Leste News Agency (in Portuguese: “TATOLI – Agência Noticiosa de Timor-Leste, IP”). This decision comes following the creation of a news portal, then called ANTIL, in March of last year. The main objective of TATOLI is to be the source of official information, with production of information for national, regional and international audiences. With a multichannel, multimedia, multiplatform and multitasking character, the News Agency may evolve and serve as a centre for the production of cinema and State documentation, as a public opinion institute, as a forum for public information, as a centre for the management of archives and State documentation, and as a centre for communication applied training and research.

The Registration and Contributory Obligation System, presented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, was approved, after the inclusion of recommendations made by the members of the Council of Ministers in previous discussions of the text. It sets out the principles and rules for entry of workers and employers in the general scheme, determines the responsibilities regarding the obligation to pay, establishes the base of contributions, establishes the contributory rate, defines the rules for payment and submission of documents to Social Security and the criteria for the registration of remuneration and service periods. It also regulates the Social Security guarantee scheme, compliance with the obligation to pay, debts to Social Security and the specific offences and fines under the contributory scheme for Social Security, adopted in October 2016, by the National Parliament.

The Council of Ministers approved the National Tourism Policy of Timor-Leste, which is based on the objectives set out in the Strategic Development Plan - 2011-2030. The Strategic Development Plan gave rise to the Guide for Reform and Economic Growth for Timor-Leste 2015-17, a strategic document of the VI Constitutional Government to increase private investment, sustainable employment and economic diversification which takes tourism as one of the five fundamental pillars of economic expansion in Timor-Leste. The National Tourism Policy identifies the main gaps and difficulties for the development of the sector and identifies alternatives and goals, providing a framework to achieve the Government’s ambitions for this key area.

The procedure for the submission of proposals for the classification of protected areas, defended by the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, was approved. This text comes to regulate the Decree-Law no. 5/2016, of March 16th, which creates the National System of Protected Areas. The regulation defines the rules to be observed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for the preparation of a proposed classification, determining the applicable deadlines and the entities that have to be consulted during the process.

The same Minister also presented an overview on the process for Timor-Leste's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), along with Professor Edmund Sim, of the National University of Singapore Law School, ADB Advisor and specialist on ASEAN. This presentation follows the announcement of the granting to Timor-Leste of observer status in the WTO, in December of last year, and the request for accession to ASEAN, submitted in 2011.

The Unit for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (in Portuguese: UPMA) of the Prime Minister's Office submitted to the Council of Ministers the review of the report assessing the implementation of the first phase of the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2015, taking into account information gathered from the various ministries, after the first submission of this document, in October of last year. The preparation of this evaluation has the support of the European Union delegation in Timor-Leste.

The Ministry of Finance presented the draft policy for the management of foreign aid effectiveness, which aims to guide the planning, deployment, execution and monitoring of donor aid to Timor-Leste. ENDS