President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) has a meeting scheduled for 10 am this Monday (27) to discuss the temporary reduction of taxes levied on gasoline and ethanol. The Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad (PT), the Minister of the Civil House, Rui Costa (PT), and the president of Petrobras, Jean Paul Prates (PT), will be at the meeting.
The expectation is that this conversation will result in a decision on whether or not to renew the exemption, which reduces by about R$ 0.70 per liter of gasoline.
The measure was taken by then-president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in his last year of government with the aim of containing the increase in fuel prices. At that time, Bolsonaro was trying to contain the increase in these products to gain strength in the electoral race without having to change Petrobras’ so-called pricing policy.
Bolsonaro decided that the exemption would end in 2022.
Read more: Under Bolsonaro, state companies abandon social function and profit high from the economic crisis
Lula took office on January 1 of this year. To prevent fuel prices from rising the next day, he edited a Provisional Measure (PM) extending the exemption until February 28 – that is, Tuesday.
There is, however, the possibility that the tax discount will be renewed again. This is under discussion in the government right now, splitting high-ranking members.
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Haddad, for example, has already said he is in favor of ending the discount. He argues that it generates a loss of around BRL 29 billion per year to the Union. That money would be needed for investments, payment of Bolsa Família, for Minha Casa Minha Vida.
On the other hand, people close to Lula, such as PT president, deputy Gleisi Hoffmann, defend maintaining the discount – at least for the time being. According to her, the price increase resulting from the end of the discount would punish consumers.
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For Gleisi, the ideal is that the exemption is maintained at least until April. This month, directors and counselors appointed by the new government at Petrobras should take office. The state-owned company’s pricing policy could then be revised. As a result, the prices charged by it fell, making room for the return of the tax without increasing the cost to the consumer.
1) Before talking about resuming taxes on fuel, it is necessary to define a new price policy for Petrobras. This will be possible from April, when the Board of Directors is renewed, with people committed to rebuilding the company and its role in the country
— Gleisi Hoffmann (@gleisi) February 24, 2023
Editing: Vivian Virissimo
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