Alckmin questions high interest rates on the eve of Copom and asks for cheaper cost of capital


The vice-president and minister of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services, Geraldo Alckmin (PSB), questioned this Tuesday (31) the high level of interest rates in Brazil and said that it is necessary to act for a cheaper cost of capital in the country.

The statement was given on the eve of the decisive meeting of the Copom (Monetary Policy Committee), of the Central Bank, which will define the calibration of the basic interest rate (Selic) – currently at 13.75% per annum.

The high level of interest rates in Brazil has been the target of criticism from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and from the highest levels of the government, which has been increasing pressure on the monetary authority.

“We need to check why Brazil has such high interest rates. What would justify [isso]? Is it tax? Is it a tax wedge? To reduce cost of capital. Is it lack of competition? In the United States there are 2,000 banks. Is it economic insecurity? Tax issue? Political insecurity? Difficulty getting credit back? High spread? Does the good payer pay the bad payer?”, said Alckmin.

“It is necessary to act in the sense of having a cheaper cost of capital, reducing bureaucracy, digitalization, international agreements that can occur to grow more, be able to create more jobs, better logistics, everything to reduce costs and improve competitiveness”, he added.

The ceremony marked the inauguration of the new board of Abras (Brazilian Association of Supermarkets) and the reappointment of President João Galassi, re-elected for the 2023/2024 biennium.

Galassi presented to the guests the legislative agenda of Abras until 2026 and the main demands of the sector for the next four years. Among them, they ask for complete exemption from taxes on the basic basket and change the expiry date system, with the inclusion of the expression “best before” (consume preferably until).

The category also seeks authorization for the sale of over-the-counter drugs in supermarkets, as is the case in the United States.

“Retail is bleeding with the highest real interest rate in the world”, stated Galassi in the opening speech of the ceremony.

According to Alckmin, the government and the entity that represents the supermarket sector have the “common challenge” of stimulating employment and income so that the population “can consume more” and “have a better quality of life”. “Count on us to help with this legislative agenda,” he added.

Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), leader of the Lula government in the National Congress, former judge and elected senator Sergio Moro (União Brasil-PR) and other parliamentarians were among the guests who attended the event.

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