By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With time running out, government officials in Brazil scramble to get the tough fiscal measures approved by Congress. Finance Minister, Joaquim Levy, is one of the most active members of the Rousseff Administration trying to convince Congress to approve much needed economic reforms.
Levy went to Congress on Tuesday to speak to Representatives about the importance of approving much needed fiscal measures, so that the country will have a budget to work with in 2016.
According to Levy a revision of earmarked expenditures is necessary to balance public accounts. “I do not want to cut indiscriminately,” said Levy to reporters, “but it is necessary to reassess less-efficient programs.”
Levy stated that one of the measures sought by the Rousseff Administration, the CPMF (tax over financial transactions), is an important item, although only a part, in trying to balance next year’s budget.
Although Levy admitted that no one likes an increase in taxes, or new taxes, he says he believes the CPMF is a more transparent, equal tax and needs to be approved.
In his talk to Congressional representatives, Levy also promised to send to the Legislative Houses by the end of the week a schedule of the government plans to pay off debts made by the administration to state-owned banks.
According to calculations the government owes more than R$55 billion to state-owned banks, which were not included in the government’s accounts for 2014. These overdue loans have already caused a lot of headaches to the Rousseff Administration and led the Federal Accounts Court to recommend to Congress the rejection of the 2014 budget accounts.