Dili, 29 November 2021 – The Minister of Finance, Rui A. Gomes, the Vice-Minister of Finance, Dra. Sara Lobo Brites, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, José Lucas do Carmo da Silva and the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, last Saturday, launched the Tax Administration System, SIGTAS Version 3. The launch of this advanced tax information system took place during the Commemoration of the 46th Proclamation of Independence Day of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
The launch of this electronic tax administration platform marks an important step toward Fiscal and Public Finance Management Reforms by the Tax Authority under the Ministry of Finance. These reforms have been initiated since 2015 by the Fifth Constitutional Government, and the Eight Constitutional Government has committed to continue the implementation of the reform agenda.
“We all understand that Timor-Leste heavily relies on Petroleum Fund for the government expenses. However, revenue from Petroleum Fund is depleting due to low oil price in the international market along with the declining production of oil and gas,” said Rui A. Gomes, Timor-Leste Minister of Finance. “Timor-Leste should not continue to depend on Petroleum Fund, especially in the long-term. It is now time to contemplate with the political will to diversify our economy to be more sustainable and resilient when facing external shocks (Covid-19 pandemic) and internal shocks (public calamity, natural disaster, inundation),” Minister Rui Gomes concluded.
At the same time, the four of them also launched the National Single Window, ASYCUDA World which will links Customs Authority with the relevant line ministries, agencies, and public institutes responsible for handling movement of people and goods, such as General Directorate of Commerce, SAMES, E.P,. APORTIL, I.P. and Quarantine.
With these online platforms in place, it will facilitate the work of public administration, it will reduce delays, reduce transaction costs, including reducing time to release goods at the border, port and airport. It will also facilitate businesses in their commercial activities and help the Government through the Ministry of Finance to collect revenue in a fair, transparent and efficient manner. Domestic revenue from these can be an alternative source to fund the State expenditure in the long run.
After the launch of both SIGTAS Version 3 and the National Single Window, Minister Rui Gomes and Minister José Lucas also witnessed the signing of the Protocol for Technical Cooperation between Customs Authority and General Directorate of Commerce, SAMES, E.P., APORTIL, I.P., and Quarantine. The aim of this protocol is to establish formal communication to facilitate more effective and efficient work among them.
In 2015, the Fifth Constitutional Government introduced Fiscal and Public Financial Management Reforms. Given the importance of this policy, Fiscal and Public Financial Management Reforms become priority programs for the Eight Constitutional Government.
In the area of Fiscal Reforms, the Eight Constitutional Government is committed to implement three measures during its mandate: i) Administrative Reforms which aims to allocate human resources appropriately; ii) Modernize tax administration system by using the latest tax information system; for example, updating SIGTAS from Version 1 to Version 3; iii) Facilitate taxpayers and encourage tax compliance according to the law. ***