Subject: KY: E. Timor fiscal, monetary authority to be set up

Kyodo News Service E. Timor fiscal, monetary authority to be set up Supalak

DILI, East Timor, Dec. 29 Kyodo

An advisory group on East Timorese affairs set up by the United Nations decided to create a central fiscal and monetary authority early next month as an initial step to reviving the economy, the chief of the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) said Wednesday.

The National Consultative Council (NCC) is set to approve five proposed regulations under consideration by a technical panel on finance and macro-economic issues during its next meeting Jan. 13 and 14, Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UNTAET administrator, said.

'The establishment of those frameworks aims to create a sound economic fiscal and financial environment in Timor to revive the economic life of the new country,' he said.

De Mello said the proposed central authority will be 'the embryo' of the finance ministry for the new East Timor.

'It will be a regulatory body of all fiscal and budgetary matters of East Timor, but it is under UNTAET in its early stages,' de Mello, who is also the chairman of the NCC, told reporters after the council meeting.

The council was set up to give East Timorese a voice in the decision-making process during transition to independence. It has 15 members, 11 East Timorese and four U.N. officials.

'The question of an official currency or currencies is a complicated issue' because of its technical and political implications, de Mello said, adding a meeting on that issue with experts from the International Monetary Fund is set for January.

The UNTAET chief said business activities in East Timor are likely to resume soon, noting Indonesian investors want to do business in the territory as soon as necessary regulations are fully in place.

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