The federal government is working with a projection of a fiscal deficit “very close to zero” at the end of the year and even with the possibility of a surplus, the first in eight years, said this Monday (25), the special secretary of the Treasury. and Budget of the Ministry of Economy, Esteves Colnago. “There is an expectation that we will have a surplus, albeit small, in the central government,” he said.
Last year, there was a surplus in the consolidated public sector, when considering the balance sheets of states, municipalities and state-owned companies. The federal government, however, had a deficit of R$ 35.1 billion.
The statement was given during a press conference to present the Bimonthly Report on the Evaluation of Revenues and Expenses for the 3rd Bimester, sent to the National Congress last Friday (22). According to the document, the projection for the primary result went from a deficit of BRL 65.5 billion to BRL 59.354 billion.
“Removing the Campo de Marte, we are heading towards R$ 35.4 billion. I hope that by the end of the year this will be very close to zero or positive”, he said, referring to the debt of the Union with the municipality of São Paulo that will be converted into credit to the city hall.
The secretary also highlighted that, due to the growth of the salary mass, there was an increase of around R$ 5 billion in the net collection of the General Social Security System (RGPS). Also according to him, there was an increase in revenues of around R$ 43 billion, of which R$ 26.6 billion came from the privatization of Eletrobras.
Revenues can also be boosted as a result of a request made by the Budget Execution Board (JEO) to state-owned companies to assess the possibility of distributing new dividends by changing the frequency of payments. The letter was sent to the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Petrobras, Caixa and Banco do Brasil.
In the presentation, Colnago also said that tax collection has been “robust and substantial”, even considering waivers recently approved in Congress. It is estimated that, by the end of the year, expenses should reach 18.9% of GDP, a rate lower than that observed in 2019, of 19.5%.
Gross debt, currently projected at 78.2% of GDP, should also fall, according to the secretary.
Health and Education must be affected by budget blockade
in relation to additional contingency of R$ 6.739 billion in the Budget, announced on Friday (22), the secretary said that the ministries and agencies affected must be detailed from the publication of the decree establishing the cut, which should occur this week. He added, however, that it is “natural” that departments such as Health and Education suffer blockages, since the budget of the areas is very large.
“There is no lack of criteria. We always observe what remains to be committed by the agencies, the availability that they still have, the needs, and work with a budget that stretches throughout the year,” he said.
Still according to him, there is no decision regarding the contingency reaching the rapporteur’s amendments, known by the acronym RP9. “We will restrict ourselves to discretionary expenses, which involves RP8, RP9 and RP2. When the decree arrives, we will have this decision matured,” he said.
Proposal for the 2023 Budget should provide for Brazil Aid of BRL 400
Colnago also spoke about the value of Auxílio Brasil, whose floor was increased, until December, to R$ 600, through Constitutional Amendment 123/2022. Both former President Lula (PT) and President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who lead the electoral race, promised to maintain the value in 2023.
According to Colnago, however, next year’s Budget proposal should provide for a minimum benefit of R$ 400.
“We have a current legal framework that does not present us with the R$ 600 as an obligation for the next fiscal year. The legal obligation is R$400,” he stated. “I don’t think there will be a legal change of March until we send the PLOA [Projeto de Lei Orçamentária Anual]. It should go with the R$ 400.”
According to him, maintaining the R$ 600 for the next fiscal year would have an impact of R$ 50 billion to R$ 60 billion on the Budget. “Given the history of discretionary expenses that we present in the PLOA, R$50 billion to R$60 billion is a challenge for us to maintain.”