National Parliament unanimously approved the General State Budget (GSB) for 2013 under Law n.º 02/2013 of 1 March.
It is important to highlight that the 2013 GSB presents a decrease of 26,581, 000.00 US$ of a total projected expenditure of 36,781,000.00 US$ in the fiscal deficit estimate.
However, the most significant decrease is in regards to financing through the Petroleum Fund, which in 2012 was1,494,900,000.00 US$ and this year is 787,000,000.00 US$.
This decrease of almost 50% can be explained by the transfer of the balance from the Special Funds (Infrastructure Funds and Human Capital Development Fund) and from the Treasury Account. The maximum threshold for public debt has gone from 43.1 million US$ to 43.6 million US$.
With the exception of services and independent funds and loans, total 2013 budgetary appropriations are of 877.547 million US$, in comparison with 723.4 million US$ in 2012, being that in the Salaries and Wages, Public Transfers and Minor Capital Development line-items, only the latter evidences a decrease of almost 200 million US$ dollars with the remaining line-items increasing by approximately 10%.
In terms of revenue, the current GSB outlook is of 2,987.8 million US$ in comparison with 2,269.4 million U S$ in 2012, being that this increase is based almost exclusively on the growth in oil revenues, with emphasis on the Timor Sea Rights (from 150.8 to 318.4 million North American dollars) and the Petroleum Fund Interest which has gone from 324.3 million US$ to 488.8 million US$.
Despite the increase of approximately 10 million US$ in non-petroleum revenue, the proportion of petroleum revenue continues to grow, from approximately 94.1% in 2012 to approximately 95% of projected totals.
Finally, it should be pointed out that despite the modest increase in non-petroleum revenues, and consequently the continued dependency of Timor-Leste on natural resources, efficient management by the Government has allowed for the first decrease in Petroleum Fund transfers in the 2013 GSB and a deficit reduction. However, the need to diversify revenue sources continues to be very present.