Government discusses capitalizing fuel fund with shares, says Guedes

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The Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, said on Monday that the government is discussing the possibility of capitalizing a stabilization fund From fuel prices with actions the state-owned Pré-Sal Petróleo (PPSA) or with shares that the BNDES has in Petrobras.

The reference was made during an event of the Federal Court of Accounts, when Guedes commented on the restrictions imposed by the spending ceiling. According to the minister, the rule was created to prevent the State from growing too much, but it also raises questions in decisions involving non-recurring expenses over which the Union has no control, as in the case of court orders, and also in the case of actions that affect state patrimony.

“Now we are discussing making stabilization funds, how can we do that. Can we pay in this stabilization fund with shares, for example, of PPSA, with shares that BNDES has, for example, Petrobras, how can we pay in this capital?” , said Guedes.

Then, the minister mentioned the difficulty that the government has been facing for a year and a half to make a contribution to the NDB (BRICs bank). According to Guedes, the country’s required contribution is around 200 million dollars, an amount that could be covered with assets that the government already has in banks abroad, without changing the value of international reserves.

For Guedes, the operation would not burn resources from international reserves because the government would only be making a change in the profile of its investment portfolio.

“Today I can’t do that (input in the NDB), we haven’t paid for a year or so, we haven’t fulfilled the obligations that we have to fulfill there, for lack of budget space, ceiling,” said Guedes.

“It is clearly a mistaken definition of a ceiling, we defined a ceiling in such a way that the government has to generate a surplus, it has to spend ceiling space to buy reserves it already has, which belong to it, from the federal government.”

Guedes also defended the untying and de-indexing of the Budget, arguing that the rules in force today contribute to the “pooling” of resources, which reach the end of the year without being spent in their entirety because of the restrictions that managers face to redirect the money public to areas and programs with greater demand.

The minister also reinforced the importance of TCU’s decisions becoming a reference for the State Courts of Auditors, in order to give more predictability to local budget rules.