December 10th, 2021
1. Vaccine passport debate puts ANVISA and Bolsonaro on opposite sides
The federal government – President Jair Bolsonaro especially – opposes requiring a vaccine passport for foreigners entering Brazil. The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) is in favor of the document. Bolsonaro claims that requiring proof of vaccination would infringe on individual liberties.
When questioned by the state of São Paulo, ANVISA said it was in favor of controlling entrance into the country with proof of vaccination.
The health agency suggested that the federal government should ask travelers if they were vaccinated when they arrived at Brazilian airports, but the administration rejected the idea.
The debate surrounding the vaccine passport has gained attention due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Valor Econômico: Bolsonaro chama passaporte vacinal de ‘coleira’ e diz que prefere morrer do que ‘perder liberdade’
VEJA: Governo descarta passaporte da vacina e pedirá quarentena a não vacinados
G1: Após distorcer proposta da Anvisa, Bolsonaro chama passaporte da vacina de ‘coleira’
2. National Congress publishes part of Precatory Constitutional Amendment Bill
On Wednesday (12/08), following negotiations, Brazil’s National Congress published the Precatory Constitutional Amendment Bill, which aims to find room in the 2022 federal budget for paying debts in instalments. The bill also alters the monetary update of the Spending Ceiling, providing more financial resources for the administration.
According to calculations made by the Chamber of Deputies’ Budget Consultancy, the Precatory Amendment Bill will designate R$ 64.9 billion from the federal budget to pay for Auxílio Brasil, a R$ 400 benefits program for poor families
Implementing Auxílio Brasil is a government strategy to provide financial aid for the poor during the electoral year, replacing the Emergency Aid distributed during the pandemic.
G1: Congresso promulga parte da PEC dos Precatórios, muda cálculo do teto e viabiliza Auxílio Brasil
UOL: Congresso promulga parte da PEC dos precatórios; veja o que começa a valer
Câmara dos Deputados: PEC dos Precatórios abre espaço de R$ 65 bilhões no Orçamento de 2022
3. New currency exchange market law will be approved
On Wednesday (12/08), the Senate approved a bill – created by the Executive branch in 2019 – determining new rules for the currency exchange market. The Chamber of Deputies approved the bill in February. The text will now be approved by the President.
Known as the New Legal Framework for Currency Exchange, the bill will make it easier to use Brazilian currency in international transactions, enabling Brazilian financial companies to invest abroad.
The bill was a priority for the federal government, which will use it to regulate the currency exchange market similarly to other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries.
One of the measures approved in the bill is the ability for foreign investments in Brazil to receive the same judicial treatment as national investments. The bill also allows certain transactions – such as currency exchange operations, leasing and, indirect exports – to be paid in foreign currencies.
Folha de S. Paulo: Senado aprova contas de pessoas físicas em dólar no Brasil, e texto vai a sanção
G1: Congresso discute mudanças na lei cambial; saiba o que pode mudar se projeto for aprovado
Poder 360: Senado aprova projeto que muda regras do mercado de câmbio no Brasil
4. Central Bank increases basic interest rate to 9.25%
In its 243rd meeting on Wednesday (12/08), the Monetary Policy Committee (COPOM) of the Central Bank unanimously decided to increase the Special System for Settlement and Custody (SELIC) rate to 9.25% a year. This is the highest rate since 2002, before former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office.
Among the justifications for the increase, the Committee said it is worried about inflation rates. According to COPOM, price increases were above expectations and the inflation rates predicted for 2021, 2022, and 2023 are around 10.2%, 5.0%, and 3.5% respectively.
The Committee said it will not back down on the increase until they witness deflation and predictions become more certain. At their next meeting, they plan to announce another increase in interest rates.
5. Federal government admits that Income Tax Reform will not be approved
The federal government has admitted that the Income Tax Reform bill – which was as a priority for the administration – will not be approved by the Senate.
According to Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, the issue will not be discussed due to political reasons. The statement suggests that senators and the private sector are against the reform. The administration sent the reform bill to parliament in June.
The senator responsible for the bill, Angelo Coronel, said the reform will not be approved as it is. He criticized the bill approved by the Chamber of Deputies and said it shouldn’t have been discussed without the participation of economic sectors that pay higher taxes.