By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The president of Brazil’s Development Bank (BNDES) criticized judicial decisions handed down to companies investigated in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal on Monday, stating that they lack an economic viewpoint and are preventing the continuation of important works.

Brazil, São Paulo,BNDES' president Paulo Rabello de Castro spoke in São Paulo on Monday,
BNDES’ president Paulo Rabello de Castro spoke in São Paulo on Monday, photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.

For Paulo Rabello de Castro, executives detained in what is now considered the largest graft scandal in the country’s history, should be allowed to return to their businesses to ensure the continuity of these companies.

“Most of the contractors have problems with registries, which makes it impossible to release BNDES funds to the projects in which they are involved,” said Castro in a conference at the São Paulo Trade Association (ACSP).

For the executive, companies involved in bribing public officials in exchange for million-dollar contracts should have to put ten to twenty percent of their assets in a welfare fund and prosecutors should let these businessmen go back to work. “We should let him (businessman arrested) work harder and make more money. We have to untie these projects,” he said.

Castro stated that it would be a surprise if the bank’s total loans this year reach R$65 billion, well below the R$88.3 billion registered in 2016. “The Brazilian economy is anemic, there is no willingness to invest at the same rhythm as in the past. The appetite for investment must have fallen by at least 30 percent,” concluded the executive.

According to the executive entire sectors of the economy have been hindered by the Lava Jato investigation, decreasing significantly private investments in these segments.

Making an analogy with the Germany-Brazil scoreboard that ousted the country from the 2014 World Cup competition, Castro said. “We are losing 7 to 1 due to the lack of appetite of the private sector,” he said.


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