On the grounds that the proposal for Budget for 2022 will considerably increase the resources for research projects, the Ministry of Economy it gave up on increasing resources for science and technology projects by more than R$ 650 million this year. Sharing the money with other areas frustrated researchers who already had the money in 2021.
On August 25, the government sent PLN 16 to the National Congress, which opened a supplementary credit of R$ 690 million for the Ministry of Science and Technology in this year’s budget. Of the total amount, BRL 34.578 million would go to the National Nuclear Energy Commission (Cnen) and the remaining BRL 655.421 million would go to the National Scientific and Technological Development Fund (FNDCT) – which supports priority scientific development programs and projects and national technology.
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However, in an official letter signed by Minister Paulo Guedes and sent on Thursday, 7th, to the Mixed Budget Commission (CMO) of the Congress, the government decided to split the resources that would go entirely to the Ministry of Science and Technology with six other ministries . In the new format, approved on Wednesday even by lawmakers, the resources for the FNDCT fell to just R$7.222 million – that is, only 1.10% of the original proposal.
The biggest beneficiary of the changes was the Ministry of Regional Development, which will receive R$ 252.2 million, followed by Agriculture and Livestock with R$ 120 million, the Ministry of Communications with R$ 100 million. Education received R$ 50 million and the Citizenship folder received another R$ 28 million.
In the Ministry of Economy’s official letter, the folder claims that the PLN18 – which is still pending in Congress – allocates an additional R$ 18 million to FNDCT this year. In addition, Guedes’ team argues that, of the BRL 104.7 million budgeted for the fund’s actions in 2021, only BRL 87.4 million have been committed so far.
“For the year 2022, the Annual Budget Law Project foresees the total allocation of FNDCT resources in its final actions, in the amount of R$ 8.467 billion, with half destined for primary expenses and half for financial expenses. In the case of primary expenses , this means an increase of R$ 3.723 billion, or 729.9%, in relation to PLOA 2021”, added the Ministry of Economy.
In addition to the R$7.222 million for the FNDCT, the Ministry of Science and Technology kept another R$82.577 million for maintenance of radiopharmaceutical production activities used in cancer treatment.
“On September 20, the production of radiopharmaceuticals essential for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer was suspended due to the lack of supplies. With the stoppage, it is estimated that up to 2 million patients may be affected”, highlighted the rapporteur of the PLN16, senator Eduardo Gomes (MDB-TO).