Lula Left US$ 76 Bi in Unpaid Bills to His Successor, Some as Old as a Decade

    Caixa Econômica Federal

    Caixa Econômica Federal The administration of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva left the Dilma Rousseff administration 128 billion reais (US$ 76 billion) in payable accounts. This is money that should have been paid out for work or services that are supposed to have been concluded.

    According to Paulo Ziulkoski, the president of the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM), 27.8 billion reais (US$ 16.5 billion) of that amount is owed to municipalities, with some of the payment obligations dating back to 2001.

    Ziulkoski complains that one of the problems is the monopoly that the Federal Savings and Loan Bank  (Caixa Econômica Federal) has in managing the accounts (and receiving a 2% commission).

    “There is a bottleneck at the Caixa,” says Ziulkoski, “that could be alleviated if other banks participated in these operations.”

    Another problem is that the origin of many approved payments is in the form of congressional earmarks (“emendas parlamentares”). As such they are subject to frequent halt orders (“contingência”) by the executive branch.

    A survey by the CNM found that the Ministry of Cities owes the largest amount to municipalities, some 7 billion reais (US$ 4.2 billion). The ministries of Health, Tourism and National Integration each owe 3 billion reais (US$ 1.8 billion) and the Ministry of Sports owes 1.2 billion reais (US$ 713 million).

    “This is a complicated relationship that runs from the municipalities to the Caixa to the ministries to the Congress to the budget itself. The money has been appropriated and set aside but it has not reached the local level,!” says Ziulkoski, adding that a solution would be the creation of a fund.

    “This fund would ensure that the money reaches the municipal government. The amount should be defined in the budget. This is money that would be used in emergencies such as floods or drought,” he concluded.

    Electricity

    Boosted by an increase of 10.6% in consumption in the industrial sector, Brazil’s overall electricity consumption in 2010 was up 7.8%, compared to 2009.

    In fact, electricity consumption in the industrial sector in 2010 managed to rise above what it was in 2008, before the international financial crisis.

    Consumption in the residential sector was up 6.3% in 2010, and 5.9% in commerce.

    ABr

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