Brazil Starts 8 Infrastructure Projects with IMF Blessing

    Eight major projects with economic and social impact will split the first installment of funds from the 2005 Federal Budget allocated to an agreement between the federal government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    This is the so-called pilot project, which includes highway recovery, irrigation, dam construction, federal revenue collection, integration of meteorological data, and investment in the Biotechnology Center of the Amazon.

    These projects, which promise financial returns, were determined by the Ministries of Finance and Planning during the course of 2004, because they will improve the country’s infrastructure.

    By the agreement with the IMF, the money spent on these projects will be excluded from calculations of the primary surplus, allowing the economic team not to have to chalk these amounts up as expenses.

    The first installment represents US$ 1.0 billion (2.8 billion reais) of a total of US$ 3.3 billion (9 billion reais) that will be invested over a three-year period.

    The agreement has still not been ratified officially, but, according to the explanation offered by the president of the Joint Budget Commission, Deputy Paulo Bernardo (PT/PR), it was necessary to earmark these funds in the budget, which was approved by the Congress in the final week of December, to establish an advance guarantee that the terms of the agreement will be fulfilled when the process is completed.

    Translation: David Silberstein
    Agência Brasil


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