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Council of Ministers Approves $300m Reduced 2020 State Budget Featured

DILI: The Council of Ministers approved Thursday the draft law and revised US$1.67billion general state budget for 2020.

The revised budget comes after parliamentarians questioned the size of the previous US $1.96b budget-equal to the largest budget in Timor-Leste’s history - earlier this month.

The Interim Finance Minister, Sara Lobo Brites, said the revised budget includes revenue coming from the Special Economic Zone of Oe-cusse (RAEOA/ZEEMS), grants from the European Union and other lending.
Speaking to media after the approval, Brites did not say where the budget cuts would come from, but in announcing the withdrawal of the budget earlier this month had said government spending on “goods and services” across the board would be targeted.
“Of course, reducing the goods and services… [such as] foreign travel, reserve funds, we will cut those out. And other items that need to be reduced, have to be reduced,” she told Tatoli December 4.
After the meeting, Secretary of State for Civil Protection (SEPS), Alexandrinho Xavier de Araújo, told reporters his department faces a $3.6 million reduction ­ down from $15 million.

 “I feel with any budget [some departments] are always affected, and we need to plan to reduce our programs, as part of it will not be met in 2020,” Araújo said.
The government will introduce the bill to parliament on 19 December.

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