posted on 8/25/2021 06:00
André Clemente also detailed a bill to reduce ICMS on fuel: 3% drop in tax rate – (credit: Ed Alves/CB/DA Press)
The secretary of Economy of the Federal District, André Clemente, announced, this Tuesday (24/8), the opening of another public contest for admission to the Civil Police, with 50 places for delegates and 50 for custody agents. In addition to these, there will be 100 positions for formation of reserve registration in both positions. “We imagine that, by the middle of next month, with the ordinance authorizing it, (the release) will be published in the DODF (Federal District Official Gazette), with the hiring of the bank. People can take the program from the last competition, start studying and be dedicated”, he declared.
In the interview with CB.Power — partnership of mail with TV Brasília — the head of the ministry addressed another matter of interest to brasilienses: the local Executive’s bill that provides for the reduction of the Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) levied on fuels in the DF. If approved by the Legislative Chamber and sanctioned, the law will reduce the rate on gasoline, ethanol and diesel by 3% as of January 1st.
Other points mentioned involve the reduction of the deadline for promoting military police officers and firefighters, the growth of the DF’s revenue during the economic crisis, as well as projects for next year, focusing on infrastructure and mobility works. Check out the main excerpts from the interview given to journalist Adriana Bernardes:
How will the public tender for the Civil Police of the Federal District be?
At the request of the (Public) Security Secretary, Júlio Danilo, and (the delegate-general) of the DF Civil Police, (Robson Cândido,) we approved the instruction and the beginning of the procedure for the selection process for delegate and custody agent. There will be 50 places for each one, plus 100 of reserve registration. But there are deadlines and instructions to be done. We have to calculate impacts, (ensure) compliance with the Liability Law (Fiscal), make opinions. We imagine that, by the middle of next month, with the ordinance authorizing it, (the release) will be published in DODF (Federal District Official Gazette), with the hiring of the bank. People can take the program from the last contest, start studying and be dedicated.
With this contest, what about the positions of delegates and custody agents? And how will the interstice be made to reduce the period of promotion of military police officers and firefighters?
It improves a lot. Today, we have 4,000 Civil Police agents and delegates, in addition to 4,000 retired people. It’s an identical number. We have to recompose the security forces in providing public service to the community, mainly to create a sense of security. (The reduction of the gap) is a recognition of their dedication to their work (read more on page 14). This impact (with promotions) existed in the Budget, because progressions happen normally. What we do, sometimes, is to anticipate them, to respond to an emergency situation.
Is there any forecast for readjustment of public security servers?
We don’t have it, because the moment is very serious in the world, in Brazil and in the Federal District. We are taking care of the economy so that it doesn’t miss the payroll. In our government, since 2019, we do not talk about arrears, payment in installments, or late payment to suppliers. This has allowed for security in the provision of public services. But we cannot speak, at this moment, in view of everything that happens, with companies closing, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) – which should not grow as much as expected for next year -, a low growth of the Constitutional Fund (transferred to the DF for spending on security, education and health). Generally, it grew R$ 1 billion a year. Next year, it will grow around R$ 300 million, only. So, we have to work with great austerity in our planning, so that we don’t lack what we pay on time.
With the 3% readjustment in the ICMs on the price of fuel, will the GDF give up R$ 345.4 million from the Budget? How will this work?
This was a commitment of Governor Ibaneis (Rocha) since the beginning of our government. There is a need to review all tax burdens because (there was) an unnecessary (tax) increase in the past. And this increase, if badly done, if done without studies, harms the collection. Taxes are increased, you think that (the State) will collect more, and it collects less. That is what happened. The only reason why the reduction of the tax burden on fuels has not been done before is because we are in a moment of serious confrontation (crisis). The collection of the fuel tax, in 2019, was around R$ 1.6 billion. In 2020, it dropped to R$1.2 billion. So we had to be very careful. We carried out all the studies and verified that, if we adjust the tax burden to what is fair, we will have more fuel consumption. And, by selling more fuel, we are going to collect more, despite having the waiver. Let’s take gasoline, ethanol and reduce (the ICMS rate) from 28% to 25%. And diesel, which is at 15%, will reduce to 12%. With that, we will alleviate inflationary pressure. Today, fuel and food are the great villains of inflation.
In this sense, what is the procedure for the population of the DF to feel the impacts of this reduction in fuel prices?
The reduction of the tax burden must be through the law. We made the PL (bill on the subject) in the scope of the (Secretariat of) Economy. Governor Ibaneis has just signed the bill and sent it to the Legislative Chamber. All the district deputies and the president (of the House) Rafael Prudente showed their eagerness for this project and their immediate support. It cannot go into effect immediately, in 2021, because we have to put that in the Budget. The Fiscal Responsibility Law does not allow us to enter this current year. We will do this from January 1, 2022, four months from now. It’s very close. Obviously, we will need to work with the government, the productive sector — because there are 10,000 jobs involved in this fuel chain — and with the population, so that these reductions are effectively felt in the price of the pump. There is a discourse that states are responsible for the value of bombs. Is not true. The Federal District Fuels Union supports the idea that this is not true. In the price composition, we have several factors, such as the dollar price, federal taxes, company profits, fuel transportation. ICMS was not increased in the Ibaneis government.
Due to the price increase, GDF created a gas voucher, with R$100 every two months. Are there any plans to extend this social benefit for longer and to more people?
We were very aggressive — in the good sense of the word — in implementing the gas card, which has two pillars. It benefits not only those who receive the gas, but companies, which were also in difficulty. With that, we will generate more jobs. And we are in conversation with Sindigás (Union of Distributors of Liquefied Petroleum Gas), so that the need for hiring labor is fulfilled by people who have received the gas card. It’s a cyclical project where one helps the other. Initially, 70 thousand assistances are planned. This will allow us to feel what is happening in terms of food programs in Brasília. And there was already the Prato Cheio program, in which we had an income supplement.
How are the GDF staff in relation to the limits of the Fiscal Responsibility Law?
Even in a severe moment of pandemic, we grew the Net Current Revenue, which is the reference base for calculating legal limits. We have a lot of scope to meet the needs. Obviously, we do the math every day, because revenue needs to continue to grow, to see if the increase in expenditure behaves. Today, there are 23 competitions in progress authorized by the Secretariat of Economy, in various areas, such as physicians, auditor of the Revenue, in addition to typical careers of the State. Let’s authorize the (competition for) finance and control budget auditor. DF Legal (secretariat) will also recompose the workforce. All activities of the State, final and middle daily, have been recomposed.
You said that government revenue has increased, despite the crisis before the pandemic. Where did the DF’s revenue growth come from?
It came from two key performances. One with the perspective of community policy, reducing tax burden, bureaucracy, digitalizing the service. We put more than 430 economy services in the digital environment, which facilitates the relationship with the taxpayer. Refis (fiscal regularization program) was the most aggressive of all times and was (collected) double the sum of all that happened in the DF. We negotiated R$3 billion. More important than the amount traded is the number of businesses and jobs saved. From the perspective of public spending, we continue to pay the salaries of employees, suppliers, injecting money into the economy with works, with various actions, including the transfer of income in social programs. This fed the system and fed back the economy, since consumption in retail and wholesale remained heated and, obviously, feeds the entire production chain. In the first half of 2021, it was 14% real growth, that is, above inflation compared to the same period last year.
How is the IPTU situation in the Federal District? Are there many debtors?
In relation to IPTU, IPVA and all (other) taxes, we implemented a more direct relationship policy. We inform you that the tax has been due and we monitor this payment in a polite way, respecting the taxpayer. We also raise awareness, together with the productive sector and the press, of the importance of these resources coming in so that we can continue to fight covid-19, providing security, health, education and construction services. (For) everything we do, we need tax collection. Who can pay must pay. We identified those who, because of the pandemic, were unable to pay taxes and we did not leave them in greater difficulty. We put tax burden actions to reduce taxes with transfer of resources to the beauty salon, school transport and a series of (other) economic activities that failed to pay taxes. With that, the collection grew.
The 2022 elections are here. What is the challenge of balancing the demands that need to be met with the political demands?
This is a constant concern of the secretariat. The economy, as everyone knows, involves the areas of management, planning and Finance. We will continue, in the last year (of management), with some achievements. The restrictions for inaugurations and launches are related to the participation of political agents, but they do not prevent the delivery of what is contracted, of what we have in terms of budgetary resources available in cash to honor. We are aware of fiscal responsibilities, but the population will not miss services and investments. This year, we were able to recover the credit rating. These are resources that can be used to make great works. There are discussions with the Secretary of Security and with Governor Ibaneis for the acquisition of aircraft in the medical area and (to) compose the public security forces: investments in technology that will increase the city’s sense of security.
What will be a priority at the Secretariat of Economy in 2021?
We have infrastructure projects; mobility, with subway and tram; may have sanitation, with rainwater and sewage. CEB (Companhia Energética de Brasília) was privatized, and there is a strong expansion of public lighting. The entire structure of the Federal District has improved, because companies want to come, they want to know if there is adequate infrastructure. Until 2030, the DF has to change the entire economic matrix. We have very qualified people, the largest number of doctors and masters in the country, so that the DF continues to grow.