Timorese government approves universal basic food basket to support citizens
The Timorese Government approved today the allocation of a universal basic basket worth 25 dollars (21.4 euros) per person to support Timorese families and national producers, in the framework of the response to covid-19.
The measure, presented by the coordinating minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral, was approved at the meeting of the Council of Ministers, according to the executive informed in a statement, and should cost the State coffers between 30 and 35 million dollars (25.7 and 29 , 9 million euros).
According to the Government, the measure supports the families of the country “by allocating basic food baskets” and also supports “agricultural producers and commercial operators of food and personal hygiene products, national and local”.
Designed the “perspective of short-term economic stimulus and incentive to production and trade”, the measure is part of the Economic Recovery Plan (PRE), in response to covid-19. Some measures will be implemented in the short term, later this year, and others from 2021.
The decree-law approved today, which now has to be promulgated by the President, defines the mechanisms and conditions for implementing the measures and creates a “special supply regime” in the scope of the allocation of basic baskets.
The executive explained that the beneficiaries of the basic basket are, individually, all the members of the registered households of the “Uma-Kain Register Book” and who are in the national territory when the basic basket is distributed.
The registration was used this year to allocate a subsidy of 200 dollars (171 euros) to each family, within the scope of a first package of support measures for about 130 thousand families in the framework of the response to the pandemic.
In this case, the beneficiaries of the basic basket are also “Timorese citizens who currently attend socio-educational, religious, health or imprisonment institutions in a boarding system, being treated for this purpose separately from their respective households.
$ 25 per person
The basic basket will be awarded in the months of November and December, with a value of 25 dollars per person and per month, and the basket can be replaced by a “shopping voucher for the corresponding goods in the same amount”.
The measure “will enable families to support basic needs, while also helping to combat hunger and greater vulnerabilities in some of the poorest and most isolated regions of the country, and to contribute to improving the food and nutritional diet of affected Timorese families. by the decrease in income flows ”, underlined the Government.
“This support also aims to stimulate local economic dynamics through the circulation of financial resources necessary to increase national production, aiming at reducing the impacts of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, within the scope of the Economic Recovery Plan, creating conditions for increasing the income of farmers, agricultural producers in general and local traders, in order to also encourage local supply, ensuring the disposal of the respective products ”, he explained.
On September 16, the Government had already approved support for four months for companies and self-employed workers.
During the four months following the entry into force of the decree, which has not yet occurred, companies that have recorded losses in turnover or revenue will receive a monthly monetary amount.
The monthly amount is calculated according to the losses, being increased in the case of companies in the tourism sector, one of the most affected, such as restaurants, hotels and travel agencies, among others.
In addition to this “subsidy to support the resumption and maintenance of economic activity” there will also be a “partial exemption from monthly social security contributions”, the Government said.
To be able to access the support, employers, “who present a loss of turnover or income and intend to resume or maintain the activity”, must be registered with social security until the diploma enters into force.
In the case of sole proprietors, self-employed and domestic service workers, support will be given “even if they register after the diploma enters into force”, being obliged to keep their social security registration “for at least the period three months after the last support was granted ”.
Timor-Leste, which is currently without active cases of covid-19, is serving its fifth period of 30 days of state of emergency, which ends in early October.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Timor-Leste has recorded a total of 27 confirmed cases, all of which have already been recovered, with 680 people currently quarantined and 174 in confinement at home.
6783 tests have already been carried out, with 130 people still waiting to know the results.
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