Subject: LUSA: Council Approves Budget, Priorities are Infrastructures, Education

05 Jul 01 11:44 East Timor: Council Approves Budget, Priorities are Infrastructures, Education

East Timor's transition legislature, the National Council, has approved the territory's 2001/2002 budget, which places priority on the areas of infrastructures and education, youth and culture.

The budget, approved Wednesday, earmarks some 21 percent of the total budgeted spending of nearly dlrs 305 million for infrastructures and 20 percent for education, youth and culture.

Health will receive 11 percent of budget resources, with remaining funding absorbed by private sector development and agriculture (8 percent), internal administration (7 percent), and defense, police and emergencies (six percent), among other sectors.

Bilateral aid programs will provide nearly dlrs 113 million towards the 2001/2002 budget, with about dlrs 72 million coming from the Donors Fund administered by the World Bank.

Expected revenues include a total of dlrs 25 million from taxes on imports, services and profits from the exploitation of off- shore oil resources in the Timor Sea.

The budget approved Tuesday by the National Council formally took effect on July 1.

JBC -Lusa-

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