After four hours of debate, on Wednesday, August 23rd, the joint committee responsible for analyzing the report of Provisional Measure 777/2017 approved, by 17 favorable votes and six opposites, the report of Deputy Betinho Gomes, which creates the Long Rate (TLP) as a new reference for loans from the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) using resources from the Workers’ Assistance Fund, the PIS-Pasep Participation Fund and the Merchant Marine Fund.
Gomes’s text retains most of the original government proposal on the grounds that the creation of the TLP will help stabilize public accounts. If approved in the House and Senate plenaries, the new rate will replace the Long-Term Interest Rate (TJLP) from 2018.
The parliamentarians of the commission rejected the admissibility of the amendments to the text and the expectation is that the report be voted on without amendments. As the MP loses its validity on September 7, the text can still be voted on in the House and then sent to the Senate.
Two separate votes were presented to the report. One of them, of Senator Jose Serra, defended that the measure is unconstitutional and that the new rate will bring even more negative impacts to the economy. Serra warned that Brazil may have problems with the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the matter is approved by the National Congress. Serra stressed that the country has argued for years that loans made with the resources of the Workers’ Assistance Fund (FAT) do not mean granting subsidies to the industry.