By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian government, according to O Globo, is making preparations to implement the third stage of the growth acceleration program known as PAC (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento). Set to begin in 2015, this new stage is expected to focus on the expansion of the availability and speed of broadband internet networks in the country, as well as strengthening already existing infrastructure, like roadways.
The news comes before the completion of stages one and two of the program and is believed to have been inspired by the massive protests that took place throughout the country in June 2013 over an increase in the price of bus fares in major Brazilian cities.
The Brazilian government, led by President Dilma Rousseff, who faces a reelection bid in October, is said to want the PAC 3 to strengthen urban mobility and transportation in and between the country’s large and medium-size cities, a goal that addresses the grievances aired by protesters last June.
“In the past, people wanted to live close to BRs [highways], but now everyone wants the roads that lead away from municipalities,” a manager of the federal transportation sector explained to O Globo. “Therefore, the keynote of the government today is to take the heavy traffic away from the large cities, and PAC 3 should have a special program for these road [alterations].”
In 2013 spending for the PAC program reached R$44.71 billion. The budget for 2014 is R$61.4 billion. The PAC program, first enacted by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2007, encompasses a host of measures, from infrastructure works to long-term tax relief and financing policies.
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