Guedes suggests creating a ministry and says he will discuss poverty in the electoral campaign

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Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) suggested this Wednesday (1) the creation of a ministry to manage the Union’s assets. He proposed that federal assets be sold to generate funds against poverty and said that he will discuss these issues during the campaign electoral.

“I’ve already spoken with the president. I’m proposing that, for the new government, there has to be a Ministry of Union Heritage,” he said at an event organized by the Ministry of Economy. “The state has BRL 4 trillion [em ativos], an incalculable fortune, and the people poor and miserable,” he said.

The government now has the SPU (Union Heritage Secretariat), which is part of the Ministry of Economy’s structure and is responsible for managing certain assets, such as federal properties.

Guedes suggested that the sale of assets would generate resources for a fund to fight poverty, which would transfer the money to the most vulnerable. “It sells some assets here and fills the tank at the bottom. It is the transformation of the Brazilian State,” he stated.

He defended that the transfer of resources can be done outside the spending ceiling. In his view, the constitutional rule that limits federal spending was created to impede the state’s growth — and what he is proposing is to reduce the size of public power.

“If I want to transfer assets to the Brazilian population from the assets I am selling, the ceiling does not apply. I am decreasing. The ceiling was made so as not to let it grow,” he stated.

“During the campaign, we are going to work on these themes. How to eradicate poverty, reduce indebtedness and interest rates, transform public capital,” he said.

The sale of assets to transfer resources to the most vulnerable through a fund outside the ceiling was a move attempted in the PEC (Proposed Amendment to the Constitution) of the Precatório, but ended up being left out of the government’s proposal.

At the time, the economics team concluded that the task would be too complex and that it was better to direct their energies towards faster approval of the text.

Despite proposing the sale of assets in a new government, Guedes had already proposed the same type of measure in the 2018 election campaign. He arrives on the eve of elections without sales of entire subsidiaries – although divestments have advanced within companies through subsidiaries, as in the case of Petrobras.

The minister himself said he was frustrated for not having fulfilled the objective. “I’m very frustrated that we’ve been here for two years and we haven’t been able to sell any state-owned company. It’s very frustrating,” he said in November 2020.

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