Self-service station and diesel car: how to stop expensive gasoline?

With the soaring price of fuel, especially gasoline, which already costs more than R$ 7, the administration of Jair Bolsonaro and Congress have presented projects with the expectation of curbing the successive readjustments.

This year, the federal government reached zero for two months the incidence of PIS and Cofins on diesel and indefinitely suspended the collection of these taxes on the sale of cooking gas to the final consumer.

At the same time, a PLP (complementary bill) is being processed in the Chamber, presented by Federal Deputy Emanuel Pinheiro Neto (PTB-MT), providing for the collection of ICMS, a state tax, based on the volume of fuel sold and not through a percentage about the price of the product – as it currently happens. The proposal is still awaiting a vote in the plenary.

In addition, on the last 11th, Bolsonaro signed Provisional Measure 1.063/2021, which authorizes the direct sale of ethanol by producers or importers to gas stations, dispensing with the intermediation of distribution companies, which becomes optional.

Another change introduced by the MP is the flexibility for service stations with a brand to purchase hydrated fuel alcohol from other distributors that are not of the same commercial brand. The intention is to increase competition in the sector and force a drop in the values ​​practiced at the pump.

Gas station attendants in the hot seat?

Attendant - Lucas Lacaz Ruiz/Folhapress - Lucas Lacaz Ruiz/Folhapress
Image: Lucas Lacaz Ruiz/Folhapress

In theory, the aforementioned provisional measure enters into force four months after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Union. However, before that it will be analyzed by federal deputies and senators, who have until October 10 to vote on the matter.

Until then, the original text of MP 1.063/2021 should be modified – the parliamentarians presented 73 amendments, not yet appreciated by the plenary. Two of them bring controversial changes and are inspired by the vehicular supply model adopted in the United States – both were presented by Deputy Kim Kataguiri (DEM-SP).

The first can affect an entire profession: gas station attendant. According to Kataguiri’s proposal, “fuel dealers can offer partially or fully automated fuel pump operation service, eliminating the need for the intervention of gas station attendants or any other professional”.

In other words: if approved, the amendment makes room for the self-service system at service stations, similar to the one in force in the USA, without the need for a professional to take care of the supply, regardless of the fuel chosen.

Also according to the deputy, “fuel prices in Brazil reached alarming levels, generating enormous inflationary pressure and popular dissatisfaction (…). It so happens that one of the factors that contribute to the formation of prices is the fact of the gas stations having to use the labor of gas station attendants, something that doesn’t happen in other countries”.

“Law 9,956/2000 obliges gas stations to use gas station attendants, increasing the costs of the station and, consequently, of fuel”, concludes the amendment.

diesel passenger cars

Diesel Smoke Truck - Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress - Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress
Image: Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress

Another proposal to change the MP forwarded by Kim Kataguiri is to allow passenger cars to be marketed in Brazil with diesel engines – currently only allowed in utility vehicles and models with 4×4 traction and reduced or shortened first gear.

The ban has been in effect since the 70s and was motivated by the then high rate of pollutant emissions from diesel.

According to the parliamentarian’s amendment, “automotive traction vehicles may be fueled by gasoline, ethanol or diesel oil, regardless of their species or category.”

In the justification, Kataguiri claims that the ban on diesel in passenger cars “is no longer justified”.

“Several countries use diesel for passenger vehicles, including because of environmental issues. Furthermore, the authorization for the use of diesel can make the fuel cheaper, alleviating the current inflationary crisis.”

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