December 21, 2014
Marina’s presidential proposals
BRASILIA — Marina Silva unveiled her campaign platform for Brazil’s October 5 presidential election yesterday, boosted by government data that showed the economy had fallen into a recession in the first half of this year.
Following are her main policy proposals aimed at restoring business confidence and investment in Brazil and putting the country on a path to sustainable growth:
Return to the basic tripod of policies that gave Brazil financial stability a decade and a half ago: fiscal discipline, inflation targeting and a floating exchange rate, ending Central Bank intervention that has overvalued the real currency.
The inflation target remains 4.5 percent. Fiscal savings should be enough to control inflation but will be achieved without contingency measures. End “creative” accountancy to square government accounts.
Central Bank autonomy must be established in a law that lays down the rules on how board members are chosen and removed.
Create an independent Fiscal Responsibility Council to oversee government accounts.
No increases. Lower Brazil’s heavy tax burden and simplify the complex tax system, especially for companies, reducing indirect taxes that hit revenues. Abolish taxes on investment. Speed up the return of export tax credits. Reform inter-state taxes.
Expand the role of electricity in Brazil’s energy matrix. Increase the use of renewable sources of energy, especially solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and second-generation biofuels. Reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Silva held up environmental licences for hydroelectric dams while serving as a minister a decade ago, but she now says they are a fundamental source of energy for Brazil.
Deepen the state’s reliance on partnerships with private companies and concessions to build infrastructure needed to remove logistical bottlenecks at ports and airports. More focus on railways and river transport.
Less protection for Brazilian industry’s domestic market to spur higher productivity and innovation. Tax breaks aimed at raising production rather than consumption.
Adopt a positive agenda to revitalize relations with the United States, including expanded Brazil-US trade.
Negotiate trade agreements with the world’s large economic groups, such as the European Union and the United States, with or without the South American trade bloc Mercosur. Push Mercosur to draw closer to the Pacific trade bloc. Foster competition with foreign companies to make Brazilian firms more efficient.
Expand agricultural production through increases in productivity instead of advancing into the rainforest. Streamline four ministries dealing with agricultural matters. Promote low-carbon agriculture.
Herald with Reuters