Bolsonaro challenges governors: “Are we going to zero the ICMS?”

The President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro (no party), started the live this Thursday playing indirects to governors. He showed a newspaper headline that claimed he had said gasoline is cheap and explained himself. “What I said is that, at the refinery, gasoline is cheap.” He challenged governors to zero the ICMS.

Bolsonaro used the topic to talk about ICMS. The tax became a strategy to try to hold the states and the Federal District responsible for the price of fuel at the gas station and cooking gas. “The federal tax is BRL 0.74, but at the end of the line it reaches almost BRL 7. Then there’s the freight, the profit margin of the stations and the great mystery that is the ICMS, a percentage that the governors charge in above the final price of the pump. And not at the origin”, he said.

Then, it amended with cooking gas, again, throwing the bill for the high in the product on the lap of the governors and demanding that they reset the ICMS so that, later, the population could buy the product without going through middlemen.

“The same thing I have been talking about about cooking gas. Rounding up, a cylinder costs R$50. At the end of the line, it’s getting to R$130. I will zero the federal taxes for cooking gas. What weighs there? ICMS, which is state tax, freight, and the end-of-line profit margin. I talked to a governor and made a proposal to see if it is possible to reset the ICMS. Every time there is a waiver of revenue, you have to present an alternative source. As I did in PIS/Cofins in cooking gas. If he succeeds, we’re going to get into another fight, proposing direct sales,” he said.

Bolsonaro said he has been criticized by “a few governors” for the price of gas. “It’s expensive. But don’t criticize me. I will zero the cooking gas tax. And you, governor, are charging ICMS. Exactly who uses the canister is the poorest. Are we going to reset the ICMS? The parliament will support us, for sure”, he affirmed.